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Kobe Out At Least 6 Weeks

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be sidelined at least six weeks after breaking his right hand in the first quarter of the team's first exhibition game.

Bryant's hand was hit by an errant elbow as he went for a rebound in Wednesday night's 88-84 to the Washington Wizards. He continued to play and 18 points, five assists, four steals and no turnovers in 30 minutes.

"He played the rest of the game, didn't realize it was broken until this morning and complained of pain," team spokesman John Black said.

Doctors examined Bryant's hand in Los Angeles on Thursday and X-rays revealed he had broken the fourth metacarpal bone, Black said. He was fitted with a cast to just below his elbow, which he'll wear for about two weeks.

"He'll be working out as of today, doing conditioning and stuff, working on his left-handed jump shot and hook shot," Black said.

Bryant's injury occurred the same day the Lakers signed free agent guard Ron Harper to a two-year, $4.2 million contract. Harper, a starter on three NBA title teams in Chicago, is expected to provide the Lakers' backcourt with experience in coach Phil Jackson's triangle offense.

Meanwhile, center Travis Knight has a severely sprained right ankle and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, Black said. He will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis.

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