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Andrew Bynum Will Probably Not Return Before Playoffs

Mar 18, 2008 – 11:30 PM
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Will Brinson

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With the Western Conference race for playoff seeding remaining consistently tight and the seeds themselves shifting nearly daily, the Los Angeles Lakers desperately need a big-man presence in the paint. However, that help, at least relating to the push for playoff seeding, will not likely come from Andrew Bynum. Phil Jackson is targeting mid to late April before he sees the youngster back on the floor.
'It's all about swelling, the pounding you take day to day,' Jackson said. 'He continually battles that. So it could be a couple, three weeks before he's doing some things on the court.'
I would say that I'm shocked and surprised, but I'm not. I will say that I am a little miffed at the Lakers training staff, front office and PR people. When this injury happened, they predicted March 15 as the return deadline (or thereabouts, I believe).

Based on the injury and the need to handle Bynum with care, a lot of people called bull on that date. Then the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol, thereby alleviating the celebrity freak out that took place when Bynum went down. But they couldn't really backtrack on the original timetable at the point, even if they continued to report that Bynum was getting ready to start jogging somewhere that didn't involve standing in water.

I'm not saying that the Lakers lied to us, but I do think that the marketing people (and whoever was talking to Kobe) had it in their best interests to keep Bynum's absence as short as possible, in spirit if not in fact.
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