With 8:11 left in the second quarter of L.A.’s Tuesday evening game against San Antonio, Andrew Bynum slipped on the foot of DeJuan Blair and hyperextended the right knee he had surgically repaired in the offseason.
Bynum stayed on the ground holding his knee for about 30 seconds before slowly getting up under his own power and walking off the floor directly into the locker room.
The young center did not return to the game and would not accompany the team to Sacramento for Wednesday’s game, instead staying in Los Angeles to undergo an MRI, the results of which would surely be of high interest around Lakers and NBA circles.
Bynum missed the first 24 games of the season, but since the All-Star break, was averaging 11.5 points on 60.5 percent shooting with 12.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, anchoring L.A.’s defense. As the season wore on, Bynum had regained much of the explosion in his legs that when coupled with his touch and sheer size made him a dominant center, helping key the team’s 17-1 record out of the break.
Bynum’s teammates Steve Blake (chicken pox) and Matt Barnes (knee) would also not travel to Sacramento, leaving L.A. with only nine healthy bodies.