Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant faces up to nine months on the sidelines after his season-ending injury was confirmed as a torn Achilles, the NBA team said Saturday.
Bryant had left the court in agony toward the end of Friday's 118-116 win over Golden State and later declared his season over.
The Lakers confirmed he now faced between six and nine months on the sidelines following the injury.
Bryant was scheduled to have surgery on Saturday to repair the damage, said Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti, who described the torn tendon as a "third rupture."
"It is gone. It has to be sewn back together," said Vitti.
Bryant said immediately after the game that he felt a "pop" as he tried to beat Harrison Barnes to the outside with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter of Friday night's tight contest.
"I felt like I got kicked. It is a move I make a million times and pop," Bryant said. "Just a freak situation I guess."
Bryant later vented in the early morning hours Saturday on his social network Facebook page saying that he isn't sure he can come back 100 percent from the rehabilitation.
"This is such BS! All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I've done millions of times!," Bryant wrote on Facebook.
"The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen ?!? Makes no damn sense. Now I'm supposed to come back from this and be the same player Or better at 35?!? How in the world am I supposed to do that??"
The future Hall of Famer also pondered whether this might be the end for him as an NBA superstar.
"Maybe this is how my book ends," he wrote. "Maybe Father Time has defeated me ... Then again maybe not."
Bryant had a chance to collect his thoughts and was in a more upbeat mood Saturday afternoon, posting a photo of himself on Facebook wearing hospital garb and getting ready to go for the surgery.
"Lookin like Mrs Doubtfire with a jerri curl cap lol. Anesthesia next," he wrote.
Vitti meanwhile said the Lakers were Bryant would return sometime in the 2013-14 season. "That's the plan," he said. "He's accepted the challenge. For us, the hardest part will be keeping him down."
Bryant's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for the Lakers who are in a close battle for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. Bryant's Laker teammate Pau Gasol said they are going to have to step up their play without him.
"The season has been full of obstacles & difficulties," Gasol wrote on Twitter. "I am sure we will keep fighting till the very end as we have been doing. #Team #Overcoming."
The Lakers still managed to secure the victory Friday night at Staples Center arena without Bryant, as Steve Blake made two free throws with 42 seconds remaining before they held off Golden State to stay in the playoff hunt.
With just three games left in the season heading into Friday's contest, the fifth leading scorer in NBA history had been on a punishing pace trying to carry the Lakers on his back down the stretch.
Bryant tried playing games without taking a break and it finally caught up to him with the season-ending injury.