Bynum has small cartilage tear in right knee
Lakers center Andrew Bynum is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Utah because of a small tear in the anterior horn, or front part, of cartilage in his right knee.
Bynum had been playing with a smaller, asymptomatic tear in the anterior horn but it worsened slightly when he sustained a hyper-extended knee Friday in Game 6 of the Lakers' first-round series against Oklahoma City.
Bynum played 27 minutes in the game but had only six points and four rebounds.
"There's some issues," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Saturday. "He's hoping to play if he's asymptomatic tomorrow."
If he is unable to play in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals, Pau Gasol will start at center and Lamar Odom will move from the bench to starting power forward.
The original tear was discovered last June when Bynum had an MRI after the season, the Lakers said Saturday.
"It was completely asymptomatic," team spokesman John Black said. "He didn't know he had it. It didn't bother him. No symptoms whatsoever, but it showed up radiologically. He's been playing with that and just recently with the hyper-extension, it's gone from a very small tear to a small tear."
Bynum averaged 12 points and 6.2 rebounds in the first round against Oklahoma City.
Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum reacts after getting called for a technical foul earlier this season. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times