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Bynum “progressing,” on same timelines as natural evolution

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 31: Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after making a basket against the Phoenix Suns October 31, 2006 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Bryant, who had knee surgery in the off-season, was inactive for the game. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Andrew Bynum

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Andrew Bynum is “progressing” and could be practicing in a limited capacity as early as next week. You know, like the other 700 times we’ve heard that.

ESPN LA reports that Bynum began resistance strength training Friday, a step towards his return to the floor. Basically, he did some work with one of those big rubber bands you see players using in rehab. Phil Jackson said after practice that he’s hopeful Bynum will be “on the floor” with the team in a week or two. In other news, I’m hopeful a check for a million dollars will be in my hands in a week or two. The two have about equal odds of happening.

Bynum has said he doesn’t think he’s coming back until December. Jackson and the training staff think it might be sooner. Every time the Lakers have had a disagreement with Bynum over his return time, Bynum’s been the one that turned out on target. Dude does not rush himself.

What’s interesting here is exactly that Jackson is publicly making comments about getting him back on the floor. The Lakers are starting to grow weary of Bynum’s recovery time and repeated injury issues. They have made a commitment to him in the long term and need to figure out if he’s going to be able to contribute. Strapping a rubber band on is a step, but it’s not a big one. We’re still waiting to see when and how Bynum gets back on the floor. But as our esteemed editor always says, it doesn’t matter as long as he’s healthy for the playoffs.