Bynum Injury Update (and a little Super Bowl)

Kurt —  February 1, 2009 — 87 Comments

UPDATE: Bynum has had the MRI, but results are not expected until later tonight according the all-knowing Mike Trudell at the official Lakers blog. (Should have asked him who was going to win the Super Bowl.)


It’s a different knee than last year but it still was hard not to freak out a little when Bynum went down against Memphis (again, same as last year).

But after the game Bynum was actually putting some pressure on his leg, a very good sign. The words coming out of Bynum and the Laker locker room this season are a lot more optimistic than last year.

““It just felt like he hit me on the side of the leg. No pops, I didn’t hear any pops. Basically, it just hurt the inside of the knee. It’s much better than last year, last year I couldn’t put any pressure on it or walk or anything like that. I really don’t need this crutch, they just want me to keep the weight off (the knee). No pops, no giving. It sucks to be injured again, but I can walk … I have to be optimistic. I definitely want to return and get back to the things I was doing out there. I have no idea (about time of return), we have to wait for the MRI. It feels a little bit better from (before), but that might be because of the ice.”

In my mind, here are the two most important things for the Lakers to win the NBA title this year, IN ORDER:

1) Every key player is healthy.
2) Home court advantage.

The Lakers can overcome road games much easier than being without Bynum or another key cog, so what we want to see is him come back as soon as he can comfortably. The Lakers should not lose a lot of ground — the starting lineup they throw out now reached the NBA Finals last season. It’s not bad.

I’ll put any updates on Bynum at the top of this page.


Who is everyone rooting for Sunday afternoon? If I were a betting man, I’d go with the under. As for the game, I’m torn — I like to root for the underdog, but as my wife has an affinity for the Steelers, that would be the smart place for me to place my allegiance. I’m open to suggestions here.



87 responses to Bynum Injury Update (and a little Super Bowl)

  1. cardinals all the way!

  2. Are you sure it was the same knee? I thought it was the other one. I guess it would be better if it was the other knee..

  3. It was not the same knee.

  4. It was the right one. He hurt the left on last year.

  5. I checked again, seems like it is the other knee. Left knee last year.

  6. Came back to my computer to check out highlights… It looked ugly, really killed me. 🙁

    I was going for the Federer–>Steelers parlay. Now you can make that the
    No ligament damage–>Federer–>Steelers parlay.

    Can I do that? Are you collecting money, Kurt?

  7. It was pretty scary when he went down, I could see our title hopes dwindle away. Looked like Kobe and everyone else on the team was seeing it too.

    I pray that he isn’t out for the season.

  8. It’s not like I hate the Steelers as much as the Celtics, but still, I do not really see myself rooting for them today. Besides a player with the name Kurt is on the team I would want to win, that’s good enough huh.
    One of my podcast said that the Steelers have the same kind of defense that Phily has, we know what happened to them.

  9. 6. Federer is an interesting case. He went from being popular to being so good, so dominant that people were rooting for anyone to challenge him. But now, after a few losses while being so close to the Sampras record, people are back to rooting for him. That includes me.

  10. 9 – The match is just about to start! Federer, IMHO, the greatest ever, going for Sampras’s record…doesn’t get any better than this. I’ve got goosebumps. Federer is the only athlete other than Kobe that truly gets me pumped up with his sheer excellence.

    This is going to be a great match. I’ll be watching for Fed’s unforced errors. If he can keep his volleys sharp and his serve powerful, I think he’ll take this.

  11. Double fault, first game broken?

    C’mon Roger. Loosen up. You’re better than that.

  12. Glad Drew’s being optimistic but he also said something similar last year after the game he was injured in saying his injury wasn’t as bad as he first thought (i.e. less pain, more range of motion). The timetable that was originally given last year also turned out to be inaccurate. The only thing we can do is wait for the MRI results and hope he comes back fully healed as soon as possible.

  13. Steelers. This is based on history. Defense wins championships. Plus, the President made them his favorite so I have to follow the leader.

    I watched the interview Bynum gave and it does give us some glimmer of hope. Still, the team needs to really start defending with a purpose and build some momentum going into the playoffs.

    I still shared The Machine’s reaction though, if any of you caught it.

  14. PeanutButterSpread February 1, 2009 at 4:29 am

    The positive is that Drew even had enough humor to jest about it:

    “Andrew Bynum shrieked in mock horror as a pack of reporters greeted him just outside the training room minutes after the Lakers’ 115-98 victory Saturday night over the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.

    Then he laughed at his own joke as he braced himself on one crutch before walking slowly but certainly to the front to his locker stall to conduct what was not the somber postgame interview one might have expected.

    Bynum sounded an optimistic tone hours after screaming in anger and frustration.”

    That was from the Daily News:

    But Kevin Ding’s article pretty much highlights to me that Kobe is blaming himself the most:

    “My concern is not for this ballclub at the moment. We can get through this stretch,” Bryant said. “I’m just upset that this happened with him — with all the work that he has done. It’s upsetting.”

    “I can sit here and (utter expletivies) all night long. … I’m just really P.O.’d,” Bryant said. “Because he doesn’t deserve it. He has worked extremely hard.”

    Kobe also said words of motivation to Bynum though:

    “When you get back, I don’t want you coming back and being tentative. I want you to do what you were doing before you left. Don’t forget what you were doing and come in here and try to feel your way out. We know what you’re capable of doing, so when you get back and put back into the lineup, just pick right back up where you left off.”

  15. PeanutButterSpread February 1, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Did anyone notice how Kobe was the Laker most effected by Drew’s injury? He was completely lost on the court, probably the first time I’ve ever seen him practically mentally check out of game. It was unnerving, but at the same time, you knew Kobe’s guilt was eating away at him.

    Machine’s reaction was exactly like mine too.
    He looked on verge of tears.

    All I could think was “Not again.”

  16. There are no “unforced” errors in a Fed-Rafa match..Every ounce of skill and spin Fed puts into his groundstrokes,Rafa slams back with greater force..Rog=Lakers and Rafa=Celtics,when discussing Precision vs Muscle…

  17. Another instant classic from Federer and Nadal…

  18. 13

    Federer has had a lot of actual unforced errors in this 5th set though, and it looks like it will cost him the title.

  19. That’s what i get for spending a weekend away from the Lakers. An injury to Bynum. Wow.

    Saw the highlight and the look of Kobe’s face, and it took a lot of air out of him. And the fans.

    One thing I took for granted, and just realized though is how tough these athletes are. I mean, if you can get injured this seriously from what looked like a relatively soft fall (compared to how hard some fall on their trips to the basket) I can only imagine what kind of punishment they receive when they fall ‘hard.’ Collapsed lungs and whatnot, I guess.

    It’s a heavyweight match out there with people jumping and leaping; you really can’t blame some for not driving more.

  20. PeanutButterSpread February 1, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I’m gonna have to admit I’m rooting for Nadal. 😀 He’s El Spaniard of tennis you know what I mean? (and he’s not bad looking either lol)

    and like Kobe, I’m not really rooting for anybody in the Superbowl, since the Chargers or the Eagles couldn’t make it.

    On Sunday, I’ll be waiting word on Drew. That’s all I really care about now. I’m dreading four words: out for the season.

  21. Well being able to walk on it is good news. Hopefully the MRI shows no ligament damage and Drew will be back in a few weeks (or quicker). Bad timing though he had been playing amazing in the last two weeks, maybe the best big man in the west for the last two weeks.

    I’m just hoping for some good news.

    I will be rooting for the Cardinals. I went to school near Pittsburgh and everyone was a Steelers an so I can’t root for the steelers.

  22. i agree with harold. it is always a risk to drive hard, especially when you know that there are defensive hard boild big men are waiting.
    that is exactly why i dont want the 80s defensive attitude back, nowadays people are much more athletic. you jump higer, you run faster = you fall deeper, you collapse harder. everybody loves it when athletes go at each other at full strenght, but it has to be sae and resonable.

    get well soon, andrew! during the griz game, i was really disappointed. but now, i just hope he will be back within a monzh or so. i believe he will be fine after all.

  23. I’m going with Stefan over Stephanie. She just cooks soups!!! haha that was for you Kurt.

    I took Rafa and I’m taking the Steelers. The under AND THE steelers 3rd stringer not to score a TD. -300. And there are ur locks.

  24. I’m rooting for a good bowl of chili, some hearty nachos, and my annual napping on the couch during the second half while my nieces put jewelry on me.

    At NY. At Toronto. At Boston. At Cleveland. Boston’s on the back end of a back-to-back. Not the best of conditions with or without Drew. 2-2 would be acceptable under these circumstances. 3-1 would be great. 4-0 would have me dancing in the streets naked, so pray they dont go 4-0.

    A friend of mine from Buffalo now living in Boston has a friendly bet with me on the Celtics game. If the Lakers win, he will send me some famous wings from his home town. But what should I send him from LA? He countered with I should have the wear the green Lakers shamrock shirt. I protested that one. Any suggestions? In-N-Out would be my first choice, but it doesnt taste as good when you get it to go, forget sending it back east.

  25. I am feeling pretty optomistic about Drew’s injury. just the fact that he is able to walk and carefully put some weight on it gives me hope.
    in the meantime, this will allow PJ to explore further into the bench for just who is going to get the call as we get into the second half of the season.
    I was a bit surprised we saw Mihm instead of Powell.
    I also think PJ is looking at match ups in the post season as to who he starts to groom for playing time in the post season. I think Powell would be better for teams like the Celt’s because he’s a bit more of a bruiser, and quicker to the loose ball, I also seeing him matching up well with Powe, remember last year he had career games against us.
    I do recall reading somewhere that Mihm had a practice dunk that caused the whole team to explode with cheers, so we citizens don’t know as much as we think we do, at least compared to the likes of PJ.
    gotta trust that he’s the best.
    anyway, we know that for the next month or 6 weeks, we are going to see a different team, probably LO starting, and variations of who replaces him, Powell, Mihm, Vlad, etc.
    I’ve been loving how PJ keeps either Pau, or Kobe, out there with the 2nd unit, then Drew comes in, etc, so the 2nd unit has a nice mix of starters as well, our team is so deep, that we should be able to get through this stretch without too much drop off.

  26. I think the Cardinals will pull an upset.

    Let’s look at the Lakers team last year: what they went through with the pre-season uncertainty, the injuries, the significant mid-season roster changes, the overall youth. They made it to the Finals, and could easily have beaten the Celtics had a couple possessions gone differently in a couple of games. Anyone who says that team was not mentally tough doesn’t understand tough. Tough is how you respond to adversity, not how loud you bark at your opponents.

  27. maybe I should change my moniker to ‘chris the hairdresser’
    haha, last night got pretty intense, and not related to the game, eh? sorry kurt if I added fuel to that fire, won’t happen again, at least from me.
    cheers, happy super bowl sunday!

  28. According to the L.A. Times, IT IS NOT the same knee as last year.,0,1338386.story

    That’s good news too.

  29. Also, the radio broadcast last night said it wasn’t the same knee as last year.

  30. I’m a huge Steelers fan, being from central Pennsylvania. Needless to say, I expect a victory.

  31. Thanks for the correction everyone on the knee thing. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it is changed now.

  32. No worries Kurt. The capital letters were just to get peoples attention, not to yell at you or anything.

  33. Yes, Kobe was clearly affected. A friend called me up when they found out what happened and asked abotr Kobe’s reaction. I told him it looked like Kobe just found out a family member died. You can see it affected him and the team for the rest of the quarter. But I was impressed how they pulled together and took care of business in the 2nd half. Memphis was lights out in the 1st half.

    This team keeps impressing me. Last night was one of those nights. I especially liked how LO seemed to take it personal and went off. I don’t care what anyone thinks. This team isn’t lacking heart, nor toughness.

  34. Sorry to double post.

    Did anyone see Bynum’s face when he was being helped to the locker room. He looked like he wanted to cry. I felt for him.

  35. I’m hoping Bynum on the floor screaming was due to mental anguish as much as physical pain. I’m sure his first thought was ‘not again!’, which must have intensified the pain.

    (on the other hand, professional athletes have very good gauge of their bodies. remember Magic in the finals vs Detroit? he knew right away he was done for.)

    fingers and toes and knees crossed.

  36. I really hope the Cards win, because having Drew get injured, Fed losing, and Steelers winning would make for a terrible weekend.

  37. I am officially out of vodka so now it’s just crossed fingers and prayers. Unless I have my time zones mixed up, Bynum is having the MRI done now.

    If I refresh the news pages more often the update will be posted faster, right?

  38. The one I thought was most affected in the 1st half was LO. He was really spaced out – bad passing, dribbling into traffic, playing up on faster players. I just thought he was mentally disconnected. I know he doesn’t really read the entire floor when he makes decisions, but that second qtr looked really ugly.

    Thank goodness for the 2nd half — for the entire team.

  39. Well, for the next two days I will be on pins and needles. Andrew has been one of my favorites from the beginning, ever since it was announced that Kareem was hired to tutor him. He’s such a nice kid, and he’s only 21! He only played 1 1/2 seasons of high school ball, and as of right now he effectively has only two full seasons of NBA ball under his belt. I’d like to see him wear knee braces, though. Not the real restrictive kind.

    I’m pulling for Arizona, but I don’t really care about the NFL. As for Rafa-Fed, one of these days Roger will realize that he can’t beat Rafa from the baseline. Not enough margin for error on Roger’s groundstrokes, so when he can’t overwhelm his opponent (which only happens with Nadal or Murray), he makes errors. If he ever wants to beat Rafa again, he needs to attack the net much earlier in the point.

  40. 38. The question is: Was Odom is off because of the injury to Bynum or just because he’s Odom?

  41. Everyone is saying atleast he can put some pressure on it, that is not that re-assuring. Just two nights ago Michael Redd walked, hobbled off the court himself only to be found out he tore both his MCL and ACL and is out for the year.

    This would be such a blow, I can barely stomach it.

  42. He was off because of the injury because he’s Odom.

    It made sense in my head.

  43. My first reaction when I saw both go down (via the league pass feed) was that it was Kobe – I literally grabbed my wife as if I’d just seen a 3 car pile up right before my eyes. Kobe looked as if his heart had been ripped out via Temple of Doom-style. He knows that if Bynum is playing even 80% of what he’s capable, we can beat anyone. Let’s pray for the best.

  44. Bynum’s MRI results delayed until later today:,0,547354.story

    guess we can all stay on pins and needles until further notice.

  45. I think, whether we are LO fans or not, we can agree that Lamar is much better as the 1st man off the bench. That way the game gets a flow first and he is not part of establishing what kind of a game it is. When he is setting the flow his ‘brain farts’ seem to affect the remaining starters more than they do the 2nd unit. Perhaps that’s because Farmar seems immune to Lamar’s play and he is the one running the team, at that point.

  46. Just being with you guys on hoping Bynum will be okay. As for the Lakers, from all the posts I’ve read from the fellow fans, we got this. Lakers are no problem.

    Thanks for keeping my hopes up as well.

  47. I thought simple Hater remarks weren’t welcome on this blog. I understand some may not like Andrew (can’t really figure out why, unless they think the Lakers should have drafted Danny Granger or they don’t like the Lakers), but a simple hate out is not really any kind of intelligent comment.

  48. Craig W. Yeah I am kind of surprised that remark has remained. I’m sure Kurt will get rid off it, he does a great job running this site and keeping it focused and maintaining a high level of discussion.

  49. 48

    I’m sure those comments will be deleted soon.

  50. gotta love kobe

    Bryant was 5 for 14 from the field and standing there trying to adjust his follow-through. Then he shot 5 for 6 the rest of the game, flipping the switch on the basketball-greatness machine.

    It still was on when he narrowed his eyes and talked tough to Bynum afterward:

    “When you get back, I don’t want you coming back and being tentative. I want you to do what you were doing before you left. Don’t forget what you were doing and come in here and try to feel your way out. We know what you’re capable of doing, so when you get back and put back into the lineup, just pick right back up where you left off.”

    The basketball-greatness machine is, fundamentally, who Bryant is.

    It’s just not all he is.

  51. I want the results soon, before the other sports game starts so that I can settle down. Thanks anon for the link.

  52. Anyone else nervous?

  53. I was a late to those comments. I was taking a nap.

  54. these past 24 hours have the most angry-effed up hours of the new year for me. I was palying some basketball in the university gym and a celtics fan said maybe next year to me and I just went crazy, knocked his ass to the floor on a pick, drained two jumpers in his face…. God I cant stand this. Come back drew!

  55. Sources close to me tell me that Springsteen will announce Socks’ diagnosis at halftime.

  56. Any new word on the Knee? Come On Andrew, you can pull through this!


  58. I’m usually not superstitutious, but we really gotta stop jinxing Bynum. Joel Meyers said before the game how Bynum was healthy and got injured a year ago to the same team….then it’s all downhill from there. Or maybe it’s karma from Wallace’s incident? All in all, it’s just not a good week for Laker fans.

  59. PeanutButterSpread February 1, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    LA TIMES is reporting that Andrew Bynum’s MRI results will be released Monday.

    His doctor didn’t get back in time to analyze the MRI.

    I hate waiting.

  60. ‘Andrew Bynum’s MRI results will be released Monday. Doctor of Lakers center was not able to return in time to review the images and give a prognosis Sunday night.’

  61. Not sure if this has been posted yet but its a post-game interview with Bynum.

    Seeing him able to walk gives me alot of hope for a speedy recovery.

  62. based on what bynum has said, i think he just has an mcl sprain, grade 2. no tear. if he had a tear, the knee would wobble. and because the pain is located “inside the knee” that means it’s an mcl problem, as opposed to acl(front of knee)

  63. PeanutButterSpread February 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm


    how long does an mcl sprain take to heal?

    I hope he makes it back by March. I really do. Drew deserved a healthy season to beast out, enjoy the playoff run and everything.

  64. Anyone putting out speculation on whether or not Bynum the fact that was walking after the game somehow sheds light on the extent of his injury should just stop.

    I was 20 years old when I tore my ACL playing at the playground. I drove around my man, scored a layup, and as I planted my right leg to begin running back the other way, my whole leg just collapsed. Here’s the weird thing… it really didn’t hurt that bad. In fact, after sitting for a few minutes I decided that I could “walk it off” and went back into the same game. First time I tried to put weight on it, it buckled again, and surgery was in my future.

    My point is sharing that is that one really can’t read too much into this until the MRI results are revealed, and even then, only time will tell.

    My initial MRI’s were showing no tear, but a second opinion came back a few weeks later and there it was – torn and in need of a surgeon.

    Every knee is different, and no one can stand to the side and think they know how well or how damaged it is based on things like what Bynum was saying, or how he walked in the locker room. It’s just not realistic.

    Let’s hope for the best, of course. But I’d caution against building up hope based on conjecture or early word from the locker room. Remember, a year ago we were told that his knee injury wasn’t so serious and that Bynum would be back in eight weeks. And we all remember how that turned out.

  65. PeanutButterSpread February 1, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    From the Press-Enterprise website:

    None of the Lakers had spoken to Bynum yet, but they planned to see him at a team get-together to watch the Super Bowl.

    “I’m making sure he has special accommodations to get there and watch the game with us,” Kobe Bryant said. “I don’t like limos, but I got him something. He’ll be comfortable.”

  66. 64. I think the only thing I take away from it is that Bynum did have a busted up knee last year and he said this didn’t feel like that. Certainly not definitive, but I find hope where I can get it.

  67. What an ending to the game huh? I found myself rooting for the Cards as the game went on because I dunno, something about the underdog.

    In the end it came down to defense. It’s a pity because Kurt Warner was really great and man that Larry Fitzgerald is fast.

    Did anyone else get NBA on NBC flashbacks when watching Bob Costas?

  68. Lakers should be okay. In comparison to last year, we didn’t have both Ariza and Bynum in the second half. We should be happy that Bynum’s injury is, at least from his opinion, not as serious as last year’s and we are better defensively than last year with a healthy Ariza playing well.

  69. Bah. Nadal won. On top of Bynum, I’ve had a sour taste in my mouth all day. To top it all off, I have 2 exams tomorrow and as a result missed one of the best Superbowls ever. Not a great sports weekend.

    Federer’s raw emotion afterwards was touching. I’m going to keep rooting him on in every tournament, major or not, and I still think he’ll pass Sampras.

  70. 2am and I’m still checking for updates on Bynum’s knee …

  71. 11 am european time and i can not wait for news on the knee. why does it take so long? i thought it was sheduled for sunday?

  72. According to The New York Daily News 6 weeks.

  73. The Dude Abides February 2, 2009 at 8:18 am

    That six-week diagnosis is just preliminary. Why would you post something like that?

    “The preliminary diagnosis is that Bynum suffered a sprained right knee against Memphis Saturday and will miss the next six weeks. But it could be longer, and the damage could be more serious, pending results of an MRI taken yesterday in Manhattan.”

  74. 6 weeks? That was from a NY newspaper. I wouldn’t take that number serious. Do you really think they would know, and the LATimes still not have any news?

  75. 6 weeks is not enough justice. 6 months would be better

  76. Ive never been to the LA times website as much as I have over the past 24 hrs.. Im goin nuts here

  77. on the bright side, at least we have ariza this season. i think this team is experienced and tough enough to withstand anything. now, if we start losing 2-3 players to injuries, we’ll be in real trouble..

  78. Whether the number is from an NY or LA newspaper, what really makes it invalid is that no official MRI results have been released yet. Analyzing that sort of thing is only instantaneous in TV shows, in reality it always takes longer.

    Six weeks on a knee injury is a good guess, that is how long players with injured knees normally are out. Last season it was a lot longer, probably a combination of the severity of the injury and the fact that Bynum has a lot more weight to put on that joint than, say, Jordan Farmar does. Unfortunately, that might also mean that Andrew is a slow healer, and will be out longer than expected again.

    I am sad. We went to the NBA finals without Bynum last year, and I’m confident that we can do that again this year. I am not nearly as confident we can win the finals without him though… 🙁

  79. Is there any reliable information about this out there? I have been visiting this blog once every 10 minutes. How long does it take to get the results of a freaking MRI?!!

  80. Bynum’s NY doctor was in Florida yesterday, so he didn’t attend the MRI. The Laker doctors couldn’t read the NY MRI info because of a different computer format. So, we wait.

  81. If Bynum is lost for the remainder of the season and post season I would rather the Lakers not win the WC again and have our “you know what” handed to us again by the Celtics. It would just be too painful to endure another humiliating loss to those guys.

    w/o Bynum to quote Lakers great Chick Hearn, “our chances are slim and none and slim just left the building”

  82. I think our chances are certainly reduced without Bynum, but I do not think they are impossible. We made it to the Finals with the lineup that we have. With Ariza’s full return and Pau’s increased familiarity with the team, I still think we have a lot to root for.

  83. #77, I agree.

    I originally felt that without Bynum, we would be identical to our team last year – except I didn’t think about the healthy and improved Ariza.

    Just imagine last year’s Finals. If we had Ariza on Pierce, could the outcome have been different? I can’t say for sure, but what I do know without a doubt is that a different outcome would be logically pondered by everyone and the possibility not outrageously dismissed.

    Also, as much as Odom has been criticized by Laker fans, he averaged double-double last season as a starter. Not bad for the third option of a team (without Bynum), right?

  84. Updates? All this waiting is killing me.

  85. LA Times just had an update. Torn MCL, 8-12 weeks. Ouch.

  86. The upcoming problem with bynum will be in his head.I don’t know if he ‘ll be able to play 100% if he has an even small part of fear of reinjuring in his mind

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