Saturday, September 25, 2010
Andrew Bynum will miss start of season
By Dave McMenamin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Andrew Bynum made his way through the Lakers' annual media day wearing the team's new lightweight jersey design that every team in the NBA will wear for games this season.
It could be two months before he puts it on again.
A day after Lakers coach Phil Jackson speculated that Bynum could miss the first "three or four" games of the regular season while rehabbing his right knee after undergoing surgery on a meniscus tear July 28, the 23-year-old center revealed fans would have to wait even longer for his return.
"I don't really see [being ready]," Bynum said about the team's season opener on Oct. 26 against Houston. "I see more towards the end of November."
Bynum said he met with doctors several days ago, who set the timetable at four weeks before he is able to return to the court for full-impact workouts.
"Now, that's an unfortunate thing, but the type of surgery that the doctor did on his knee takes a little extra time," Jackson said. "Obviously we hadn't prepared and Andrew certainly hadn't prepared for the fact that it could take an extra month and a half or so to rehab this type of surgery."
Bynum's injury history is piling up. He partially dislocated his kneecap during the 2007-08 season and was limited to 35 games. He played in only 50 games in 2008-09 because of a torn medial collateral ligament in the right knee.
He played in 65 regular-season games last season and averaged 15.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per contest. But he was on the floor for only 24.3 minutes per game in the playoffs and his averages dropped to 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
As training camp begins, Bynum has been told to not put any pressure on the knee whatsoever. His workouts are relegated to riding the exercise bicycle, walking and working out his upper body by lifting weights.
Bynum earned unanimous respect from his teammates last spring after playing in each and every one of the Lakers' 23 playoff games, despite his injury.
"Even though he was, I'd say, 70 percent of what he could possibly do, it helped us out," Jackson said. "It gave us a lot of support and we were really happy that he was able to do that ... the force, the body being there, the size, those things all helped us."
When asked if Bynum would lose any of that admiration from his teammates now that he will spend the bulk of training camp doing rehabilitation, Jackson said: "I don't think so."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. http://twitter.com/mcten.