We told you yesterday that the Los Angeles Lakers were “hopeful” Andrew Bynum would be ready to go by the start of the season.
Kevin Ding of the Orange Country Register put another spin on that today.
Bynum put off having offseason surgery on his right knee so he could play – and we’re not talking about playing basketball. He could’ve repaired the knee immediately after last season, but he postponed it to travel – to see the soccer World Cup in South Africa and then vacation in Europe, as he had the previous summer.
Bynum didn’t want to be on crutches, which would’ve diminished all that fun stuff or required rescheduling. He even had the knee drained, just as he did repeatedly with much ado in the playoffs to keep playing, so he could keep pivoting around reasonably well as a sightseer.
Bynum was set to have the surgery mid-July, but it was pushed back to late July due to scheduling conflicts with Bynum’s doctor. The doc had been available. Bynum just chose not to be. Now he’ll miss training camp as a result.
Ding noted that for a guy who is supposed to be maturing, Bynum’s youth is evident and his focus questionable.
Is this really a big deal? The Lakers would have certainly liked to have Bynum around for part of camp, if only to avoid him having to play into shape during the first few weeks of the season.
Still, if this were in Miami, or Chicago, or a number of other teams where the meshing of new players or new coaches makes training camp important, it would be of greater consequence. The Lakers have a veteran team coming off consecutive titles, with the same coach and same system. Bynum’s presence for games in October or even early November is not a big deal. Him being healthy in May and June, however, is.
Through the first two weeks of training camp, the Pelicans have seen their frontcourt depth decimated by injuries to Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, both of whom are out for a few weeks. A deal with Greg Smith fell through after he failed a physical. Now, Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re signing former Knicks and Nets center Jerome Jordan as a short-term solution:
Jordan has only played 65 games in his career and hasn’t been spectacular, but the Pelicans need a body while their two centers are out. Anthony Davis will spend some time at center, but considering the contracts Asik and Ajinca got this summer, Alvin Gentry clearly plans on playing him at power forward as well, and they need a center to at least fill time before Asik and Ajinca get back.
He’s back in practice with the Cavaliers, but there’s still no clarity on whether Kevin Love will be available for the season opener. Love had shoulder surgery in April after suffering a torn labrum in Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round series against the Celtics, and doctors initially gave him a timetable of four to six months for a return. The six-month end of that is right around opening night (October 27), but Love still doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to play against the Bulls—although he is hopeful.
Via the Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:
“I feel pretty good,” Love told Sporting News. “As far as the opener goes, I am not completely sure. I’ll probably get with the doctors and see what they have to say. I know that my six-month post-op is coming up here pretty fast. As far as getting the strength back, getting the range of motion, I feel pretty good, so I am looking forward to getting into some more contact, getting into a rhythm and getting out there as quickly as I can.”
Love has been cleared for 3-on-3 practices, but not yet for 5-on-5. If it were up to him, he’d be back on the court, but he understands he needs to follow the rehab protocol for his injury.
“(Six months is) just a ballpark figure that has generally been thrown out there by anybody who has talked about the rehab process for this kind of an injury,” Love said. “I like to think that I am ahead of the game, but there’s different tests and the due diligence that the doctor will go through and the training staff will go through. So all I can do is go out there every day and attack my rehab and hopefully I will be able to go out there and help these guys as soon as possible.”
At the very least, the Cavs will be without Kyrie Irving (still recovering from knee surgery) and Iman Shumpert (out up to three months with a wrist injury), and probably Tristan Thompson too, unless his contract situation changes unexpectedly. So having Love available would be some much-needed good news. But it’s more important that Love (and everyone else) is healthy for the playoffs. If he’s not ready to play, there’s no need to rush back for an October game.