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.