Andrew Bynum still not 100 percent
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- As well as Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has played since the All-Star break -- averaging 11.9 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks as the Lakers have won 10 of their last 11 games -- he's still playing at less than 100 percent.
"I'm not fully healthy," Bynum said after practice Thursday.
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Bynum missed the first 24 games of the season while recovering from offseason surgery to his right knee when a frayed piece of meniscus was sewn back into the knee for support. He missed another game in early February with a sore left knee.
"I have a little bit of fluid [in my right knee] and I'm still taking medication," Bynum said.
Bynum still ices both knees every day, sometimes even before games, while NBA players customarily ice their knees afterward. The sixth-year center is also taking anti-inflammatory medication.
Bynum, who has undergone three knee surgeries in the last three years and missed an average of 30.3 games each of the last four seasons, has learned how to deal with injuries quite well.
Bynum appeared to tweak his ankle last week against Miami and joked after the game, "I might not have good knees, but I'm sure I have good ankles."
Despite the physical limitations, Bynum is hoping to lose 15 pounds by the time the playoffs begin in a month to try to take some weight off his joints. Bynum said he weighs 290 pounds, but Lakers head coach Phil Jackson estimated the 23-year-old center is actually 295 pounds. Bynum said he would like to get down to 275, his ideal playing weight.
Lakers forward Ron Artest lost more than 10 pounds late in the season last year by spending extra time before and after practice on the treadmill. Jackson said the irritation in Bynum's knee prevents him from using the treadmill to lose weight, meaning Bynum's main approach to shedding the weight will be through controlling his diet.
Bynum was confident he could keep his current play up by putting mind over matter.
"I'm really just mentally committed to defense," Bynum said. "There's nothing more than that. You just put your mind to it and go to work."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.