Bynum has been out since Jan. 13, when he dislocated his left kneecap and bruised a bone landing on a teammate's foot while going for a rebound. The Lakers haven't been more specific about his recovery than saying he would be out for at least eight weeks.
But before the Lakers played the Mavericks on Tuesday night, coach Phil Jackson said he's not expecting the 20-year-old center to return until the playoffs begin the weekend of April 18-19.
"It's all about swelling, the pounding you take day to day," Jackson said. "He continually battles that. So it could be a couple, three weeks before he's doing some things on the court."
Going into the Mavs game, Los Angeles was 20-10 without Bynum, helped by the addition of Pau Gasol. The Lakers would probably rather not wait until the postseason to get them playing together, but it looks like they might not have a choice.
In his third year, Bynum is averaging 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.06 blocked shots. He was leading the NBA in field-goal percentage (63.6 percent) and was among the best in rebounds and blocks when he got hurt.