Lakers' Bynum Expected to Miss Six Games With Strained Achilles'
Bynum limped off the floor and headed to the locker room early in the third quarter, after feeling a "sharp" pain in his left Achilles' tendon. He was seen leaving Staples Center in a plastic walking boot, and is expected to be re-evalutaed on Saturday. Phil Jackson doesn't know the extent of the injury yet, but was admittedly worried after the game.
"We're concerned about Andrew," Jackson said. "He'll probably miss a little while."
Bynum himself described the injury like this:
"I felt a really sharp, really quick pain," Bynum said. "[It was] maybe one, two seconds of sharp pain."
The early diagnosis is a strain, but until the MRI is performed, it's really just guesswork. While it's true that this Lakers team is experienced in playing without Bynum for long stretches (even in the playoffs), the fact remains that without him, their chances of repeating as champions are significantly diminished.
With Bynum out, Lamar Odom typically is the one who would move into the starting lineup as his replacement. But that leaves a pretty large hole to fill in the second unit -- one that the likes of Josh Powell and D.J. Mbenga aren't likely to be able to compensate for.
We'll go ahead and wait for the official prognosis before pushing the panic button and jumping to unfounded conclusions. But if nothing else, this puts yet another blemish on Bynum's injury record, while planting one more seed of doubt in the minds of Lakers fans who were hoping for a repeat of last year's championship season.
UPDATE: Bynum had an MRI on Saturday, which confirmed a strain to his left Achilles', but showed no tear. He's expected to miss at least the team's next six games, according to a report in the L.A. Times.