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Thanksgiving return target for Andrew Bynum return to Lakers

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The Lakers have a soft start to the schedule — 20 of their first 28 are against teams that did not make the playoffs last season. No Thunder until January. Same with the Celtics. Miami isn’t a concern until Christmas.

So if they are going to be banged up, now is the time.

Andrew Bynum is still recovering from off-season knee surgery, but Phil Jackson said he is hoping for a Thanksgiving return for the Lakers center. He even doesn’t wants Bynum to rush back, as reported by the Orange County Register.

“I think he wants to ramp it up a little faster than we want him to,” said Jackson after Sunday’s practice in El Segundo. “We want him to be able to go in and sustain that effort when he does get back. We want him back tomorrow, but if he’s back in two or three or four weeks, we understand what it’s going to take.”

“I think the basketball part is going to be easy,” Jackson said. “I think the conditioning and the strengthening and those things will take time. He’s going to need two or three practices and he’ll be back up to speed where he can go play. Reactive time, I think that’s an issue, where he can react to the speed of the game.”

As long as he can do that by Christmas, when things really get serious for the Lakers, Jackson is good.