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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson: Lakers hoped Bynum had returned three weeks ago

November 28, 2010 |  6:01 pm

Injured Lakers center Andrew Bynum raised a few eyebrows Saturday when he said he wouldn’t be back for three more weeks, a proclamation that didn’t exactly enthrall Coach Phil Jackson.

"We had hoped that it would be three weeks about three weeks ago,” Jackson said Sunday before detailing the months-long wait for Bynum to return from surgery last July to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.

“This [procedure] is something that was supposed to take place after the season and he was supposed to be ready by the season, and we built our team around that fact. Well, everything got delayed,” Jackson said. “His operation wasn’t done on time, Andrew was late to his operation, there was a whole myriad of things that have gone on in this thing. But the type of operation he has is a very unique operation. It’s not just a simple operation, so that changed the complexity of all this.”

Jackson seemed concerned that the Lakers wouldn’t know how strong Bynum would be when he returned.

“We still haven’t seen whether it’s going to be a total success or not,” Jackson said. “He still is struggling to get back. Right now, our team’s got to go forward and play without him. These guys are ready and willing to do that. I just have to monitor some minutes out there a little bit better.”

Jackson said the Lakers would not be adding a free-agent big man to help offset the absence of Bynum and reserve center Theo Ratliff, who was expected to miss at least two to four more weeks after having knee surgery of his own.

"It's just not in the cards," Jackson said.

--Mike Bresnahan