LOS ANGELES (AP) -Lakers center Andrew Bynum ran on a treadmill Tuesday for the first time since injuring his left knee two months ago.
Bynum temporarily dislocated his kneecap and sustained a bone bruise early in the third quarter of a 100-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 13 when he landed on teammate Lamar Odom's left foot while going for a rebound.
``He's coming along well. He's progressing,'' coach Phil Jackson said before Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors. ``It's not as fast as he'd like to, but we're looking at the big picture here.
``We know that he makes a big difference in our team, but ultimately the organization feels we don't have to rush him into anything and jeopardize the situation.''
Lakers spokesman John Black said no timetable has been set for Bynum's return, adding: ``We set a minimum of eight weeks. We didn't set a maximum.''
The Lakers hope the 20-year-old center will return before the playoffs begin the weekend of April 18-19. He has been rehabilitating by running in a swimming pool.
Bynum ran for 20 minutes on a new $75,000 treadmill that simulates low gravity situations. A player can run without the pounding he would normally experience on a regular treadmill or on the court, which gives his legs a break. Black said Bynum ran at 60-65 percent of his body weight.
``The thing with Andrew is how the knee responds when he works out,'' Jackson said. ``You can see the strength coming. He still gets fatigued and it's all about that muscle firing and the protection and all that stuff that's going on.
``It's just part of recovery from an injury and the body protecting itself. But the swelling that happens around that injury is what we're going to have to watch and eliminate as we go down the stretch toward the end of the season.''
A third-year pro taken by the Lakers with the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft, Bynum is averaging 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.06 blocked shots. He was the NBA leader in field-goal percentage (63.6 percent) and ranked 11th in rebounding and ninth in blocked shots when he was injured.
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