Andrew Bynum returns, Pau Gasol remains sidelined
There was good news and bad news from Lakers practice Tuesday in El Segundo. First the good: Andrew Bynum was on the floor, declared himself able to play through whatever residual pain is still there now that the swelling has gone down in his injured right elbow and his range of motion is back. He should be good to go Thursday night at Staples against the 7-1 Phoenix Suns. Better still, his teammates said Bynum looked good.
Pau Gasol, however, didn't practice. Instead, he got more treatment on his injured right hamstring. "I don't have any hopes for him on Thursday for sure," Phil Jackson said.
My POV here, not anything official, please keep that in mind: If Pau can't go Thursday, I can't imagine he'll play Friday in Denver, and I'd put Sunday's game against the Rockets in the "Who Knows?" category as well. Given that his leg hasn't responded well to activity, I think the Lakers will want to see him run hard in practice and recover successfully more than once before he's back on the floor. That means a few successful days of workouts. The frustrating thing about muscle injuries is the difficulty in assigning a timetable combined with the risk of recurrence. The combination gets fans yanking out hair, but there's not much that can be done about it.
In the meantime, everyone just has to wait.
In other news, like everyone else, Lakers players were surprised to hear about the disclosure of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's leukemia diagnosis.