The respective right knees of Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum have understandably been the two items of most keen interest leading into the 2010-11 Lakers season, and while Bryant’s set to start in Tuesday’s season opener, it’ll be a few more weeks yet for Bynum.
The recent news on L.A.’s 22-year-old center has been primarily positive, however, as Bynum shared with us in a quick state-of-his-knee address prior to Friday’s preseason game in Ontario.
“Everything is going well with the knee, he said. “I started doing a lot more cardio stuff, lifting legs, getting back into shape. When I come back, I want to be ready to go, so I’m working really hard to get there.
“My mission is to try and stay healthy, do a lot more preventative stuff to keep a strong base. That’s what I’m focused on, maintaining that health so I can just play.”
Bynum had been sticking with elliptical and bike machines last week, but on Sunday Phil Jackson said Bynum graduated to running on a regular treadmill.
“He went through some activity that was accelerated,” said Jackson. “I think he wants to ramp it up a bit faster than we want him to. We want him to be able to go in and sustain that effort when he does get back, so he needs to have a real base, a foundation when he comes back.”
Jackson added that Bynum has not yet done any jumping or dunking, but that has been shooting. The head coach thinks that Bynum will be able to re-acclimate rather easily to the basketball side of things, but may take a bit more time with conditioning, strengthening and reaction time.
There remains no actual target date for Bynum’s potential first game, but Jackson did identify Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 25) as one upon which to keep an eye.