Andrew Bynum plays 5-on-5

Updated: December 4, 2010, 8:03 PM ET
By Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum made his season debut in a full court, 5-on-5 scrimmage after undergoing surgery on his right knee more than four months ago.

Just the fact that Bynum was able to make it through the scrimmage was more significant than how he fared.

"He said he tired, which is natural," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That's going to happen.

"He said there was just one moment where he had a little twinge [of pain], but other than that, he was OK."

The Lakers will take the day off Sunday and see how Bynum's body responds in the next practice Monday.

"We're just watching him and analyzing him day to day," Jackson said. "If he comes back and says, 'I have a little puffiness on the knee,' or whatever, or he doesn't have any and he's feeling fine and raring to go, then you're going to know he can absorb more and more training as we go along. His conditioning is kind of the issue right now and his timing more than anything else."

The sixth-year center is targeting a return to game action sometime during the Lakers' upcoming six-game road trip Dec. 10-19 through Chicago, New Jersey, Washington, Indiana, Philadelphia and Toronto. The team has yet to announce a set timetable for his return, however.

There was a mixed bag of news about the Lakers' other injured big men.

Pau Gasol did not practice Saturday after putting up 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and three blocks in 27 minutes while playing with a strained left hamstring against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

"I'm going to take it really easy the next couple days and make sure I take care of my hammy," Gasol said after the game. "I'm going to ice it, rest it, treat it and anything that I can do so I can continue to play."

Jackson said Gasol "did all right" against the Kings.

"We're still concerned but it's OK," Jackson said. "He played under 30 minutes and that helped."

Lakers backup center Theo Ratliff, who hasn't played in a game since Nov. 9 after getting meniscus surgery on his left knee, took a step backward in his rehab.

"We did some work with him [Friday] on both the treadmill and the [elliptical machine] and he had some swelling [Saturday] and so we backed off," Jackson said. "We just wanted to see how far he could go. So, we'll back off. That just tells us a little bit about what his activity level has to be now."

Friday's game against the Kings was the 20th in the Lakers' 82-game regular season schedule. They've started off 14-6.

How does Jackson assess his team with the season a quarter of the way through?

"We came out OK," Jackson said. "We had a little bit of a setback here after Thanksgiving, something that happened to us that hopefully woke us up and we got our act back together and go forward from here. ... Things are starting to matter."

Jackson sarcastically blamed the post-Thanksgiving four-game slide on too much turkey.

"Overfed or something, I don't know what happened," Jackson said. "We got a little fat."

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ALSO SEE

MORE NBA HEADLINES