UPDATE 1:53 am: Talked to Bynum as he walked out of Staples Center (with other media), and he showed no noticable limp. He said that if this had been a big playoff game he would have been back out there, but that it was a little more than precautionary.
“It was painful right when it happened but it’s not that bad right now,” Bynum said.
Phil Jackson said he hoped it would not be something that lingers.
“He could be out a couple games,” Jackson said. “There could be a bone bruise involved when you hyperextend the knee. His reassurance was saying, ‘I’m going to be okay.’ I think that he might have an idea about it because he’s been through it before.”
12:05 am: The one thing the Lakers feared most was Andrew Bynum suffering another knee injury.
It happened. He has suffered a hyperextended right knee according to the team — the one he had surgically repaired after last season, the one he wears a heavy brace on. The severity is not known, but he is not returning to the Spurs game, he will not play Wednesday in Sacramento.
He will have an MRI on Wednesday, when we will learn the severity of the injury. Hyperextensions sometimes are not as serious as other knee injuries, but anything to Bynum’s injured knee will be taken seriously. It is a risk to the team and its chances.
The injury happened as Bynum was running up the court on defense in the second quarter, stepped on the foot of DeJuan Blair and his leg seemed to slide out from under him. He fell in the key and just sat there while the play went on around him. He then sat there until play stopped and Pau Gasol came in for him. Bynum got up and walked off under his own power but went straight to the locker room.
Bynum is the key to the Lakers three-peat chances — he is the anchor of the defense that sparked their 17-of-18 run. Last season he was able to drag an injured leg suffered in the first round through the rest of the playoffs and help the team to a title.
However, this year Lakers staff was quietly optimistic that this was the best team they had in the playoffs in this championship window because they finally had a healthy Bynum. Now….