Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Updated: June 23, 10:17 AM ET
Bynum's knee drained; surgery mid-July
By Dave McMenamin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The day after celebrating his second ring with a parade, Andrew Bynum got his right knee drained for the third time since he tore his meniscus nearly two months ago in the first round of the playoffs against Oklahoma City.
Bynum's knee was drained of approximately the same amount of fluid that was removed in his previous procedures prior to Games 1 and 5 of the NBA Finals, and he plans on undergoing surgery to fully repair the joint "around" July 18 after he travels to the World Cup in South Africa on June 28.
"I'm going to wait to do [the surgery] after [the trip] so I can do a proper rehab," Bynum said Tuesday, the first day of the Lakers' exit interviews before the players are free to start their offseason.
Bynum said that his right knee was "pretty big, so before I go I wanted to drain it and that way I could be on an anti-inflammatory [medication] and make sure nothing happens and when I come back, get surgery.
"It's not the most serious [injury]. I'm going to get it taken care of and everything is supposed to be cool."
Lakers backup center D.J. Mbenga said that the injury that Bynum played through was so bad that, "I saw his knee sometimes after games and I couldn't believe myself."
Bynum averaged 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in the Lakers' postseason run, but his most impressive statistic was 23, as in he played in all 23 of Los Angeles' playoff games despite injuries to his right knee and left Achilles tendon.
Despite the pain, Bynum said his determination to continue to take the court never wavered.
"All I was thinking was, 'I have to play, I'm going to play,'" Bynum said. "And it's pretty cool because I just finished my exit meeting and they were like, 'If you have to play in one more game, can you play in it?' And I was like, 'Yes, I would definitely play.' I wanted to be a part of it any way I could."
The 7-footer said he will rehab in L.A. and then will work with Lakers trainer Alex McKechnie on his core strength in Vancouver instead of working out in Atlanta this offseason, as had been his custom in recent years. McKechnie first joined the Lakers to work with Shaquille O'Neal in keeping his big body in full operating order.
"That [core training] is just so when you get pushed, you can always find neutral, being in the best athletic position," Bynum said. "I think that will help me out in my game a lot. Sometimes I get into extension and people push me and things like that, so I just really need to work on being pushed and being able to explode back up and finish over the top."
For now, reliving the memory of beating the Boston Celtics in an NBA Finals Game 7 is serving as his rehab.
"It feels all right," Bynum said about the knee. "A lot better having won, not wasting all the effort, so that's good.
"I was just super, super, super happy. I was jumping up and down, it was probably the most animated I ever was on the sideline during that game because I really wanted to win it. It would have been really disappointing to have lost that championship. Now that I have it, it's kind of epic."
Bynum also addressed the trade rumors that have swirled around his name for years -- from Jason Kidd several summers ago to Chris Bosh this season.
"I don't even look at it," Bynum said. "I don't even care about the trade rumors. I love the game so I'm going to play anywhere. I know it's cliché, but that's the truth. Hopefully I'll be here for a long time."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.