LOS ANGELES (AP) Kobe Bryant will not have surgery on his right pinkie because recovery would take too long.
Bryant has played with damaged ligaments in the finger since February, but said Tuesday that he won't have surgery after seeking opinions from hand specialists.
"When the doctors told me recovery from a procedure could be 12 weeks, I just decided now was not the time to have surgery," Bryant said on the Web site kb24.com. "What it really came down to for me is that I just didn't want to miss any time 'punching the clock' for the Lakers, given all we are trying to accomplish as a team this NBA season."
Bryant averaged 28.3 points while playing in all 82 games despite injuring the finger Feb. 5. The Lakers guard put off the surgery until after the Beijing Olympics, where he helped lead the United States to the gold medal.
The Lakers open training camp Sept. 27 and start the regular season at home against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 28.