Andrew Bynum tore his MCL when Kobe Bryant crashed into him in Memphis, and suddenly there are questions around the Lakers playoffs hopes.
This is a grade III, complete tear of the medial collateral ligament, however Bynum will not need surgery, just rehab. The official report says Bynum will be out 8-12 weeks.
That would have him returning to the club in April — the Lakers have regular season games through April 14 and then start the playoffs. In an ideal world, Bynum would be able to return for a few regular season games and really find his stride (and get his conditioning back) during the first round of the playoffs.
But if history is any indication, it may not be that fast. Last season, Bynum originally was not expected to be out more than a couple of months with his knee injury, however he missed all of the rest of the season and playoffs.
The Lakers still field a very good team — this is the same squad that went to the Finals last year with the energy and defense of Trevor Ariza added. But this injury at least cracks the door open for the Spurs (if Bynum is not back or is not near 100%) and the big guy certainly would be needed against Boston or Cleveland.
For now, all Lakers fans can do is wait. And somebody once said that the waiting is the hardest part.