Before the natural anguish of learning that his left knee had suffered a fracture, a most improbable sense washed over Kobe Bryant: relief.

"Lucky it wasn't a meniscus," Bryant told Yahoo Sports on Thursday afternoon.

After six games this season, here's the solace today: Six weeks beats six months. Six weeks beats surgery, beats losing the rest of a season, beats losing the time left on a clock ticking closer and closer to the end of a prodigious basketball life.

Once again, Bryant is back to that excruciating place he had never dealt with in his career, the rest, recovery and rehabilitation as the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the NBA goes on without him.

Everything is conspiring against Bryant now, and the declarations of his demise promise to grow louder and louder. He is 35 years old, fighting back from an Achilles tear, a fractured kneecap and awaiting the start of a $48.5 million extension over the next two years. The walls are closing, his path to restoration never so perilous, and yet here was Kobe Bryant on Thursday afternoon making clear his belief on those who'd dare doubt his resolve again.

READ MORE: Yahoo! Sports