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Bynum chips in despite injury

November 29, 2008|Mike Bresnahan | Bresnahan is a Times staff writer.

Andrew Bynum clenched his teeth and played.

His first injury of the season was nothing like the one that sidelined him for five months last season, much to the relief of Lakers followers.

Bynum had 18 points and 10 rebounds Friday night in a 114-107 victory over Dallas after suffering a right foot injury Tuesday against New Jersey.

Results from an MRI exam and CT scan revealed that a small bone spur had chipped off the foot, causing irritation and inflammation.

"When I go to push off and I jump, there's a lot of pain involved," Bynum said. "The doc says it's going to take time to heal . . . like one or two weeks."

Bynum was injured when he came down on Vince Carter's foot while going for an alley-oop dunk in the second quarter of the Lakers' 120-93 victory Tuesday. He played the rest of that game but felt pain the next day.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said the injury itself wasn't reason to be worried, but Bynum will be closely monitored over the next couple of weeks on days after games.

"We're relatively concerned about what it's going to be like after he plays, after he has a real hard run," Jackson said. "It's not the kind of thing that would inhibit him from playing unless the discomfort of that fragment itself would cause problems."

Bynum didn't look too inhibited in the early going against Dallas. He blocked Gerald Green's shot a little over a minute into the game and dunked off a nice feed from Pau Gasol a few minutes later.

"It's good enough to play," he said. "Just as long as it doesn't get more painful, I'll be OK."

Bynum, 21, missed 67 games last season because of a knee injury.

He was the Lakers' third-leading scorer coming into Friday, averaging 11.5 points a game. He was the team's second-leading rebounder, averaging 8.9 a game.

Mihm sidelined

Reserve center Chris Mihm sat out Friday's game because of a sprained left ankle suffered during a scrimmage Wednesday at the team's training facility.

DJ Mbenga was activated for the first time this season to take Mihm's place on the roster.

Mihm was injured in the annual "Turkey Trot," in which the taller players on the team play against the shorter players.

"It was an overtime game, and that's when Chris got hurt," Jackson said.

It was not the same ankle that had troubled Mihm in the past.

Sun not setting

The Lakers' Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders, began their season Friday with a 116-90 loss to Bakersfield.

Rookie Sun Yue was still with the Lakers, though he was expected to be sent down to the D-Fenders soon.

Sun was on the Lakers' inactive list Friday for a 13th consecutive game.

Players in their first two NBA seasons can be assigned to the Development League up to three times per season. If Sun were sent down to the D-Fenders, he would continue to be paid his NBA salary and would still be considered part of the Lakers' 14-man roster.


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