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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 July 2006, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Bryant knee surgery blow for US
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant was last season's leading scorer in the NBA
Kobe Bryant has undergone minor surgery on his right knee and is unlikely to play for the US in the World Basketball Championships in Japan this summer.

The US has to choose its 12-man roster for the competition before it starts, and once named it cannot be changed.

USA Basketball boss Jerry Colangelo said Bryant will still attend training camp and travel with the team in Asia.

"We're pleased that Kobe expressed a willingness to remain as involved with our team as possible," he said.

The World Championships run from 19 August to 3 September.

The normal recovery time for Bryant's surgery is eight to 12 weeks.

Colangelo added: "Kobe being with the team will add to our chemistry and his presence will help provide valuable off court leadership."

Bryant's withdrawal is the fourth in a week for the US team.

The Americans finished sixth in the 2002 Worlds and won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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