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Andrew Bynum practicing, may well return this week

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Pau Gasol’s sore hamstring wants this to happen sooner rather than later.

Andrew Bynum has been participating in full practices with the Los Angeles Lakers for several days now and could return to the team this week. He practiced Monday but said he wants a couple more before he gets into game action, he told Kevin Ding of the OC Register.

The Lakers play back-to-back Tuesday (Wizards) and Wednesday (Clippers) then fly to Chicago for a game. Smart money is on Chicago for the return.

Phil Jackson was hedging his bets a little and would not pick a date for Bynum’s return because, well, would you want to give Bynum another target date?

“He’s coming right along,” Jackson said. “He went through every aspect of practice.”

The Lakers pretty average team defense so far — 11th in the league in points allowed per possession — should be helped dramatically .

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

Trevor Booker
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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.