Bynum undergoes arthroscopic surgery on left knee
Updated: May 21, 2008, 6:19 PM ET
LOS ANGELES -- Center Andrew Bynum underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday in New York, and the Los Angeles Lakers said they expect him to make a full recovery by the start of training camp next fall.
The 30-minute procedure, performed by Dr. David Altchek, consisted of removing some cartilage debris and smoothing some rough spots on the underside of Bynum's left kneecap, the team said.
Bynum had the operation on the same day the Lakers opened the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center.
Bynum hasn't played since suffering a bone bruise in his knee and a subluxation of the kneecap -- a brief dislocation that popped back into place -- in the third quarter of a 100-99 victory over Memphis on Jan. 13. He was having a breakout season, averaging 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots in 35 games.
The Lakers estimated a day after the 20-year-old center was injured that he'd be sidelined eight to 12 weeks. But coach Phil Jackson said April 21 that a return this season was remote, and Bynum said much the same thing shortly thereafter.
Dr. Altchek examined Bynum in New York on April 10 and declined to clear him for practice. The 7-footer was examined again May 7 in Princeton, N.J., by Dr. Steven Gecha, who said there had been some improvement in the knee but recommended exploratory surgery if there wasn't more in the ensuing three to four weeks. The surgery was performed two weeks later.
Despite Bynum's absence, the Lakers went 57-25 to earn the top seed in the West and 8-2 to eliminate Denver and Utah from the playoffs to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2004.
Bynum, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, averaged 1.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 46 games as a rookie and 7.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.56 blocked shots in 82 games in his second season.