MEMPHIS — The only bit of good news for Andrew Bynum was that he sprained his right knee rather than his left one in the first quarter of the Lakers’ 115-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. It was his left kneecap that he injured in a Jan. 13, 2008 game against the Grizzlies at Staples Center. Bynum missed the rest of the 2007-08 plus the playoffs and underwent surgery last May.
X-rays taken immediately after tonight’s injury were negative and he is scheduled to have an MRI exam Sunday in New York, the next stop on the Lakers’ six-game trip. The Lakers hope to know the extent of his injury and how long he might be sidelined. I will get something posted as soon as I get the news from the Lakers.
“I saw Kobe driving to the basket, and I was able to pick my leg up and that saved me from major damage,” Bynum said. “I can put pressure on it. I can walk. I don’t need the crutch. It’s just there. I definitely feel optimistic as opposed to last year.
“It’s much better than what happened last year. I am able to put weight on it. There were no ‘pops.’ I don’t really need the crutches, but they’d like me to use them for now. I have to stay optimistic. I want to return and continue doing the things I was doing out there.”
Bryant sounded more downcast than Bynum, telling reporters:
“I feel bad for him because he’s been playing so well and putting in a lot of work to get to this point. I’m a little (ticked) off right now because this happened to him at this moment in time. Hopefully, it’s not something that’s too severe and he’ll get back soon and pick right back up where he left off. I’m just upset that this happened to him with all the work he’s done. You have to stay positive. I’m happy he has that approach.”