Bynum to miss 8 weeks with injured kneecap

LOS ANGELES -- Andrew Bynum, a big factor in the Los Angeles Lakers' strong start, will be out at least eight weeks because of
an injured left knee.

MRI tests and an examination Monday by team physician Dr. Steve
Lombardo revealed Bynum had temporarily dislocated his kneecap and
suffered a bone bruise.

"He's already focusing on his rehab," Bynum's agent, David Lee, told ESPN The Magazine's Sam Alipour on Monday.

Bynum is expected to make a full recovery, the Lakers said in a
press release.

"If it's not an operation, a surgery he has to go through, we
have to be pleased with it," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before
Los Angeles played at Seattle on Monday night. "He should be able
to recover. The process of us monitoring the season for eight weeks
without him, as big an influence as he's been, is going to be

The 20-year-old center, who leads the NBA in field-goal
percentage, was injured early in the third quarter of Sunday
night's 100-99 victory over Memphis when he landed on teammate
Lamar Odom's left foot while going for a rebound.

Bynum crumpled to the court, and teammates Kwame Brown and Ronny Turiaf had to carry him to the locker room as fans at Staples
Center chanted, "By-num, By-num."

A third-year pro taken by the Lakers with the 10th overall pick
in the 2005 draft, Bynum is averaging 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds
and 2.06 blocked shots, and has made 189 of his 297 field goal
attempts (63.6 percent). He is the league's 11th-leading rebounder
and ninth-leading shot-blocker.

The Lakers (25-11) had won six straight games -- their longest
winning streak in almost four years -- and 16 of 19 entering Monday
night's game at Seattle.

The schedule gets much tougher after that, with games against
Phoenix, Denver, San Antonio, Dallas and Cleveland. Then, after a
home game against the Knicks, the Lakers begin a nine-game road
trip Jan. 31 at Detroit.

"It will take us a little bit of time to figure out on the
floor, how we're going to still have the success we've been having
without him," Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. "That's what we
want to do and we feel like we can do it, but I think it's going to
take some time."

Brown moved into the starting lineup for Bynum on Monday and
Turiaf would serve as his backup.

Brown, limited to 41 games by injuries last season, has averaged
5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in eight games after missing 19 because
of a sprained left knee and ankle. He entered Monday night's
matchup against Seattle having played in 15 games this season.

The Lakers already had a depth problem at center because Chris Mihm has been sidelined with a sore right Achilles tendon and
isn't expected to return for at least two more weeks.

"Kwame is going to have to take a big load of the playing
time," Jackson said. "We're going to have to shore up the boards
a little bit because that's where Andrew really was effective for
us and they're going to split duties, Ronny and Kwame."

Bynum expressed optimism as he left the arena after Sunday
night's game walking under his own power with a soft brace on his
knee while his personal trainer, Sean Zarzana, carried a pair of

"I'm not in too much pain, only when I bend it," Bynum said.
"I don't think it's serious at all. I can move it left and right.
Just to take a step forward is the only thing that really hurts. I
never heard a pop."

In his last full game before being injured, Bynum had 25 points
and a career-high 17 rebounds Friday night in a 110-105 victory
over Milwaukee.

Sam Alipour is a contributing writer to ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.