UPDATE 5:30 ET: Well, Woj clears it up as usual:
4:34 ET: The Lakers announced that Kobe left the country on Thursday, per the LA Daily News:
Kobe Bryant has left the United States for an undisclosed medical procedure unrelated to his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon, according to the Lakers.
The Lakers wouldn’t divulge which country Bryant is visiting, the procedure or what any additional injury might entail. But they expect him to return early next week.
Reports have said it isn’t Achilles related, but it is kind of strange. Mike D’Antoni said to reporters that he isn’t concerned about his surgery. Kobe has returned to the court, and he is doing light jogging and putting up jumpers. There is no timetable for his return, but you can expect that Kobe is honed in to return as soon as possible, and prove the doubters wrong.
Kobe once went to Germany to receive an experimental surgery on his knees, and he said it made a world of difference. Again, we still don’t know where he’s going, or what this surgery is, but when Kobe spills the beans we will be updating you. The Lakers first preseason game is on Saturday in Ontario, California, and they are currently in Mike D’Antoni’s first training camp.