Checking In On Andrew Bynum

Darius Soriano —  March 20, 2010

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According the fantastic Kevin Ding and his magical twitter account, the MRI performed on Andrew Bynum’s strained (left) achilles tendon showed no rupture or tear.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that Ding also confirmed that Andrew will be reevaluated a week from now and that he (likely) will not travel with the team won’t play (but will travel) on its upcoming gauntlet of a road trip (meaning he’ll miss the next six games).  The trip that has the Lakers visiting the Spurs, Thunder, Rockets, Hornets, and Hawks.  Not a soft team in that bunch (New Orleans is likely to have Chris Paul back by that game) and the games come a crucial time in the season with the Lakers not only trying to hold off Dallas and Denver for the Western Conference’s #1 seed, but also hoping to build momentum for a long post season run.

We’ll have more analysis on what missing Bynum will mean in the next couple of days, but my first thought is that this could actually serve as motivation for the Lakers.  I know that when Bynum went down last night, the Lakers immediately gave up their ten point lead and looked like they weren’t into the action much.  That’s what can happen when you see a teammate injured in the heat of battle.  However, now the team has some time to process the injury it could establish a bunker mentality with the guys that are healthy and bring them closer together as they go on this trip.  What we could see is similar to what happened two seasons ago when Bynum got injured (but before Pau came on board) – the Lakers rallying together on the road and playing some of their best ball of the season.  I’m not saying this will happen, but on a team with veteran leadership and (even without Bynum) a load of talent, I would not be surprised to see this team close ranks, circle the wagons, and play good basketball.

At this point, I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief that this injury was not worse.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only person that had a sinking feeling when I saw ‘Drew limp off the court and go directly to the locker room.  Especially after the last two seasons and how it seemed that whenever Bynum started to play his best ball an injury would ruin it.  So, again, I’m glad that the news isn’t worse and that Bynum seems to be in good spirits and in the mindset to get back on the court sooner rather than later (though doing so when he’s ready).  Get well soon big fella, we’re going to need you.

Darius Soriano

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28 responses to Checking In On Andrew Bynum

  1. Dru, we miss you already!

  2. The diagnosis is no big surprise since he was able to walk off the court on his own, so there was no way this was a Beckham-like Achilles injury.

    Hopefully Andrew can come back strong and we get the pre-injury Bynum for the playoffs, as opposed to the meek and timid Bynum from last year’s playoffs. I have a feeling the Lakers are going to need to be able to fire on all cylinders to repeat.

    I was also not pleased to read about Lamar’s ongoing shoulder problems. The Lakers are really going to have to get Ron-Ron fully involved in the offense rather than just having Artest spot up for 3s.

  3. Why does Vitti get so much praise? Look at what the guys in Phoenix have done in the last few years. Now THAT’S praise-worthy.

    Here’s to a speedy recovery. We’ll actually need Andrew this year to be effective throughout the playoffs. The competition is even better than last season.

  4. Where’s Aaron??? Teehee…

  5. I’m right here and I have a huge smile on my face. I was really expecting a ruptured Achilles the way Andrew described the pain. And I also was suicidal thinking about going into the post season without a Center and the thought of Bynum never being the same again after a torn Achilles. Alas I will be able to sleep tonight. I never care what happens in the season as long as our best players stay healthy. Bynum and Lakers are walking on cloud nine right now. We only need him for the Finals anyways. And he def will be healthy by then.

  6. Well, Bynum’s injury is a blessing in disguise.
    This kid is mentally weak, and prone to injury. Referees’ bad calls, opposing players’ toughness, injuries…. all can take him out of his game. He just has to look at Kobe and Ron, how they play thru injuries, and stand tough to opponents.

    I don’t know how serious is this “strained” achilles tendon. But did he not just take a break before the All-Star break for some minor small injury?

    I think without Bynum in the line up, Phil actually has more freedom on the rotation, and can get more players involved.

    I hope Bynum sits on the bench and learn how to make an impact to the game without getting enough “touches” on the ball. The offense does not have to run thru him to be effective, and he should not use his passive attitude on defense as a leverage to get the “touches” that he wants.

    Shaq used to say: “you gotta feed the dog first.” That is shameful. Bynum is too young to have this kind of attitude.

    Prediction: Lakers will put together a winning streak while Bynum sits on the bench. Big brothers will show him how to win, and they can win without him.

  7. The problem with injuries and Andrew Bynum are that, initially he’s diagnosed with a six week recovery time, that slowly transcends into a three month time frame!

    At any rate, have a speedy recovery, Andrew, we could use your help!

  8. As far as I am concerned, he should not be hoping on any airplanes, going up and down any stairs or moving around in any way with the possibility of further injury to that tendon. Let your leg rest Mr. Bynum, we will need you full strength in a little while. What? LO is now injured also, we do not need any major problems with our vaunted front line at this time of the year, that is for sure.

  9. As of this second, Dal and Den both losing at home in the 4th Q…

  10. look for odom to step up his game to compensate.. the guy is turning into this dynasty’s robert horry..

  11. Both the Mavs and Denver losing is a good sign.

    Here’s a review of both teams next week.

    The Nuggets next 5 game road trip includes NYK and Toronto, Boston, Orlando, and Dallas.

    Dallas has NO, the Clips, Portland, GSW, Denver, and Memphis.

    By my estimation, both teams have a good chance of dropping a game or two in that stretch.

    Things’ll be fine. Let the bemoaners be moaning.

  12. im not worried about losing the western title, im worried about as someone said that what is intially a 3 week recovery time turns into a 2 month period and bynum doesnt come back

  13. Albert wrote on March 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    “Well, Bynum’s injury is a blessing in disguise. This kid is mentally weak, and prone to injury. Referees’ bad calls, opposing players’ toughness, injuries…. all can take him out of his game. He just has to look at Kobe and Ron, how they play thru injuries, and stand tough to opponents.

    I don’t know how serious is this “strained” achilles tendon. But did he not just take a break before the All-Star break for some minor small injury?”

    *laughs*

    Are you really comparing the injuries sustained by one player to another? Really? Spoken like someone that has never played a contact sport, or suffered an injury.

    Big men in basketball have a completely different recovery time than small men. Mass matters. Especially injuries to the feet, ankles, legs, hips and back.

    There is no such thing as a “minor” leg injury when you are 7′ tall and weight 285 pounds.

    And, I continue to be bewildered by the “bench Bynum” talk… He is one of the better centers in the league, and IS a very efficient offensive player that SHOULD be involved with his excellent post game.

  14. Maybe Bynum will be back by the playoffs, but whether he’ll be the same explosive self will be the question. My guess is unlikely. But this will give our championship 5 some time to get their groove together, which isn’t a bad thing.

  15. anyone else have their bracket busted by the Kansas loss? lol.

    in other news, hurry back big fella!

  16. Sorry about another andrew injury. Not sorry to call him out for his comment that he wants to go on the trip, He says he has friends he wants to see on the trip and likes to travel.

    Now that’s a mature way to think.

    Mitch DO NOT BUY HIM A TICKET. STAY HOME AND REHAB WALTON NUMBER 2

  17. @Albert

    You clearly haven’t been watching this team the past few weeks, or you’re so biased that Bynum’s superb effort has just been a blur to you.

    Also, Achilles injuries are serious and cause a lot of pain. Trying to compare it to Kobe’s injury is silly — if Kobe had an Achilles strain, he’d be out too. It’s not a matter of playing through pain; it’s literally being unable to walk on that foot.

  18. barring that this is some kg-type injury (the way it was described to the public), i think we’ll be fine. pau-lamar fluid offense all over again, might just what our ratings on that side of the court need.

    getting bynum into the system and remind ourselves that this can be some 20-10 center is another thing and that concerns me a bit. we have to be getting to peak form at this stage with at least out starting 5 intact. oh but i guess we’ve been hoping for that for a long time already and our lakers have given us a lot of inconsistent play this season. that just blurs a lot of things other than maybe the idea that we’d be competing and winning these playoffs…

    GO LAKERS!

  19. I am really sad about Bynum’s injury. I get sad every time Bynum gets an injury, which is sadly… every year. Bynum is starting to be a few notches below Oden on the Injury prone list.

    He was starting to play really well the last few games too. And I liked the quotes I heard from him before the Minnesota game about focusing on defense and rebounding also.

    I hope he recovers and doesn’t lose too much on his explosiveness. He still isn’t the same after his first knee injury. hoping 10 games is the max for him being out.

  20. Ken,

    I hope that you’re not so uncaring that you feel Andrew’s social life should completely suffer because you subjectively believe it will benefit the team. He’s a person who has social needs that will keep him happy as a person. I’m sure that his decision is based on more than a whim and the team likely consulted with health experts (not you) on which activities were and weren’t okay for him to engage in. You can also bet that he’s going to attend every game and support his team as a good teammate should.

    The nerve of some fans. If they had any power, they would become dictators.

  21. Aaron said, “Bynum will most likely be out for a year and will never be the same player again.”

    Thanks for that “dose of realism”, Aaron. I think that this is a perfect example of how what you seem to view as realistic really is not so. Nothing that was said by bynum or anyone else indicated that this was definitely or even “9 times out of 10″ a tear yet you took it upon yourself to jump to that conclusion only to find out that you were wrong. Just as it has been said before on this blog, posts like that one are not realistic, rather they point to mental weakness as they serve to prepare the poster for the worst possible outcome; not the most realistic. I dont have a problem with being concerned. I was just as concerned as anybody as I believe that Drew is an integral part of this team and we will need him to repeat. But there is a difference between expressing concern and whatever it is that you did.

    Thank goodness that it is just a strain, not a tear. I hope it is a speedy recovery for Drew. And, aaron, why don’t you take a deep breath, relax, and really examine what is realistic before you enlighten us again?

  22. 21,

    You’re just adding fuel to the troll’s fire. Best policy is to ignore.

  23. I think the Lakers will really miss Bynum’s ability to produce easy baskets. Maybe the resurgence of Gasol’s mid-range game will continue, but otherwise those easy lobs are going to be replaced by a lot more bumps and bruises for Gasol and Bryant. Unless Odom wants to keep hitting two-thirds of his three point attempts. That would work for me.

  24. 21,
    Thank you sir. But it wasn’t just me that thought that. Andrew said the same thing. He said he was worried it was going to be a tear. And if you tear your Achilles that is a career altering injury. The Lakers and Bynum dodged a big bullet.

  25. Kareem thanks for your thought. Laker trainer has suggested that Andrew NOT travel as his recovery time could be slowed by not working with the Lakers trainers at home.

    At this time of the season I highy paid player has a obligation to his employer not to his social life.

    As a former manager for 20 years in the music business, I know quite a bit about talent who puts their social life before their career.

    Again thanks for your post but based on my information within the Laker organization , they want Andrew in rehab not a social tour of the South West..

  26. Ken,
    Until we actually hear the Lakers trainers say that Andrew should stay home or “people within the organization” become vocal enough to actually say things to the media in regards to Bynum’s intentions for being on the road, I’m going to take things at face value with this.

  27. OK Darius as always I respect your thoughts.. My source is solid. Entertainment biz tends to have the old 7 degrees thing going.

    thanks