Andrew Bynum cleared to play
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Despite Andrew Bynum being limited to just six minutes in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game because of receiving a recent injection in his right knee, the Los Angeles Lakers center will play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday without any limitations.
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"I'm all good," Bynum said after practice on Tuesday, the Lakers' first practice session since the All-Star break.
Bynum had three rebounds and one block in the All-Star Game, but went just 0 for 3 from the field and scored zero points while playing just six minutes in his first appearance as an All-Star.
The 24-year-old played sparingly because he received an injection of Synvisc, a natural substance that serves as a lubricant, into his right knee on Friday. Bynum received surgery to repair torn cartilage in the knee in the summer of 2010 and now wears a brace to cover it during games, but the injection of Synvisc, along with cortisone, was a planned procedure that the Lakers described as routine maintenance on Bynum's knee.
"Actually when I sit down for a long period of time and have my knee in one position, it feels a lot better because it's got lube in it," Bynum said Tuesday after participating in most of the Lakers' practice Tuesday, other than their full-court scrimmage. "But, as far as just walking around and stuff, I really feel it (improved) in about three or four days."
Wednesday's Minnesota game will be five days after Bynum received the injection.
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant collided with Bynum's knee late in the Lakers' 100-85 loss to the Thunder on Thursday and Bynum said he needed to "ice the heck out" of his knee after the game to reduce the swelling in order for his physician, Dr. David Altchek, to be able to administer the injection the next day.
"It was bothering me specifically after the OKC game," Bynum said. "I took a little bit of contact in it. That's when it was really bad."
After missing an average of 31 games because of injury in the previous four seasons, Bynum has played in 30 of the Lakers' 34 games in 2011-12, and the only games he missed were because of a four-game suspension to start the season.
Bynum is averaging career highs in points (16.3), rebounds (12.8) and minutes (34.6) per game. He is also averaging 2.03 blocks per game (seventh best in the NBA) while shooting 55.4 percent from the field (fourth best).
"Andrew was fine. He went through practice. ... He had contact," said Lakers coach Mike Brown. "I'm pretty sure he's full-go (Wednesday)."
While Bynum said he would have liked to have scored a basket in his first All-Star appearance to get his name in the books, he was OK with how his playing time played out.
"To be honest, I was tired, so it was not that bad," Bynum said.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.