Kobe Bryant’s season is officially over after having surgery to repair his torn right rotator cuff on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers also made it official that their superstar doesn’t believe his career is finished.
Bryant is expected to need nine months to recover from his third straight season-ending injury. If Bryant meets that timetable, he could return to basketball shortly before the start of the 2015-16 season, and the Lakers expect to see him in purple and gold again.
The Lakers formally declared Bryant out for the year by acknowledging the expected recovery time from his injury, but also effectively confirmed he won’t retire, and will attempt to play his 20th season in the fall.
Bryant, who will be 37 years old this summer, is the NBA’s highest-paid player at $23.5 million this season, and he is under contract for $25 million next year.