Lakers coach Phil Jackson was interviewed as part of NBA TV's "Real Training Camp" today, and spoke of the severity of Andrew Bynum's right knee injury. Jackson said Bynum can't start any weight-bearing activity until at least the end of October, and that the center isn't expected to be his normal self for some time.
"My feeling is that it's probably going to take him until the end of December until he's really the Andrew that is as active and as dominating in the middle as he can be, so we have to prepare ourselves for that," Jackson said.
In Bynum's absence, Theo Ratliff is sure to see more minutes. Jackson called the 37-year-old backup center "an alligator that knows how to wrestle." Jackson even mentioned second-round draft pick Derek Caracter could see minutes if a backup center is needed, which would be rare considering that rookies rarely play in the triangle offense under Jackson.
As for the preseason, the Lakers open overseas with a game on Oct. 4 in London against the Timberwolves, and a game Oct. 7 in Barcelona against Regal FC Barcelona. Jackson also said Kobe Bryant, who is also coming off knee surgery, is expected to play 12 to 16 minutes per game in the early going in the preseason.
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