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Could have been worse

Lakers' Bynum learns Achilles' tendon isn't torn, just strained. He may miss two weeks.

March 21, 2010|Broderick Turner

An MRI exam Saturday confirmed that Lakers center Andrew Bynum has a strained left Achilles' tendon and not a tear.

That was the good news.

Bynum could be out almost two weeks while he recovers from the injury he suffered Friday night.

That was the not-so-good news.

The Lakers said Bynum will be reevaluated in a week. But Bynum said he thought he would be examined again after the Lakers return home from an eight-day trip that will include five games beginning Wednesday and ending March 31.

Even though Bynum will miss at least six games, he was in high spirits after the Lakers practiced Saturday.

"Yeah, because I thought it would be worse," Bynum said. "Then they told me today it's not as bad.

"It definitely was a relief because we didn't find any tears. You never want to have that. I just have a lot of pain in that area. . . . I think I'll be all right, though. I should be good."

Bynum had on a plastic walking boot and will continue to wear it while the injury heals.

"There's a lot of pain with it," Bynum said. "It just kind of takes a lot of pressure off."

The Lakers play the Washington Wizards on Sunday and then leave Tuesday for the five-game trip that starts in San Antonio and ends in Atlanta a week later.

The Lakers' next practice after that probably would be April 1 in Los Angeles.

Bynum said that he would be reevaluated "probably when I get back here. I'm not sure. I have no idea. However they want to work it."

The Lakers' first game back at Staples Center after their last major trip of the season is April 2 against the Utah Jazz.

Bynum was asked whether he would play then.

"I'm hoping," he said. "But it just depends on how long it takes this pain to go away -- the pain and the swelling."

Bynum was injured early in the third quarter and left for the locker room with 10 minutes 9 seconds on the clock.

"It was kind of crazy. I was just running, too. It was something really weird," Bynum said. "I just felt a lot of pain in my calf and my Achilles'."

Bynum missed 46 games during the 2007-08 season because of a partial dislocation of his left knee, an injury that required off-season surgery.

He missed 32 games last season because of a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Bynum said he didn't have the same fear concerning his latest injury that he had with the two knee injuries.

"I walked off so it wasn't as bad," Bynum said. "It's better than being carried off.

"After it happened, I ran up the court once and down and then off. So it's not as bad.

"I'm not frustrated. I just want to get back and play."

Bynum said he will continue to take anti-inflammatory medication and treat his knee with ice and hot-and-cold treatment.

He missed two games earlier this season because of a bruised right hip and has been wearing a brace on his right knee.

"But those are feeling pretty good," Bynum said. "My knees are fine. I've been getting treatment on them every day and the hip is feeling all right."

Etc.

With Bynum sidelined, Lamar Odom will start at power forward. But Odom is dealing with his own injury, a sore left shoulder. Odom said he was injured Feb. 18 when the Lakers played the Boston Celtics, and that it has continued to bother him despite treatment. "The part I hate about the injury the most is that when I go to call on it, it might not answer me," Odom said. "I don't expect to shoot the ball well. I don't expect to rebound well, because of that quick motion like that. But, I can still play basketball." . . . Coach Phil Jackson said Derek Fisher had an excused absence from practice Saturday, but he's expected to play Sunday.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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