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LAKERS FYI

Andrew Bynum updates Lakers on his injured knee

The center tells Coach Phil Jackson he has flexibility in his right knee, which he hurt on Jan. 31.

February 11, 2009|Broderick Turner

A little over a week after leaving the team in New York, Lakers center Andrew Bynum appeared at practice Monday and gave Lakers Coach Phil Jackson an update on his injury.

Bynum suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee Jan. 31 against the Memphis Grizzlies and after getting an exam in New York the next day, he was told he would be out eight to 12 weeks.

Jackson said Bynum informed him that he had flexibility in the knee and he showed off a brace he was wearing.

"He said the swelling is minimum right now that he has," Jackson said. "He's walking without aid. So he feels pretty good about what he's doing. We know that this first two weeks is going to be kind of sketchy. As he starts healing, things will start changing a little bit."

National duty

When he was asked to play this summer for the Slovenian national team, Sasha Vujacic said he couldn't refuse.

He met with the new coach, Jure Zdovc, recently in Los Angeles and agreed to play for his native country. Vujacic played on the Slovenian junior national team before he joined the Lakers in 2004.

After a three-hour meeting, Vujacic said he was excited to play alongside such countrymen as Beno Udrih (Sacramento Kings) and Rasho Nesterovic (Indiana Pacers).

"He said that he wants to bring the best back," Vujacic said. "This year it's for the European championship and they really need me to play. I decided after a long talk with them to play."

Vujacic said Slovenia would be playing in the same group with Spain, which features Lakers teammate Pau Gasol.

But Gasol said he doesn't plan on playing this summer for Spain, the team he helped to win the silver medal at the Olympics last summer.

"I'm excited to first win the NBA championship with the Lakers and then I want to do my best to go there and help my team," Vujacic said.

Kobe vs. Mike

In the midst of the Lakers' six-game trip, on a cold night in Toronto, Jackson did something that was unexpected.

He compared Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

It was brief by design because he typically bristles when asked to compare two of the best he ever coached, but it was an analysis nonetheless, despite its brevity.

"They're two of a kind competitively," he said. "Kobe's probably a better outside shooter, Michael a better post-up player."

Etc.

Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown, the players acquired from the Charlotte Bobcats for Vladimir Radmanovic, were on the inactive list for Tuesday's game.

Times staff writer Mike Bresnahan contributed to this report.

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broderick.turner@latimes.com

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