You may now exhale.
An MRI Wednesday revealed nothing more than a bone bruise for Andrew Bynum, who left Tuesday's win over the Spurs at Staples after hyperextending his knee in the second quarter. According to a statement released by the Lakers, "the injury is not deemed to be serious," and Bynum is expected to be available when the playoffs kick off (almost surely, if history is a guide) Sunday. He'll likely take it easy over the next few days, but probably would have, anyway. On the one hand, the news allows Lakers fans to feel far more confident about the team's threepeat chances, seriously undermined had Bynum's injury been more serious.
On the other, the good news about his knee allows fans again spend the next 14-16 days worrying Bynum, one of three Lakers players not to have done so as a child, will be the next to contract chickenpox, thanks to Steve Blake. Because if anyone is going to get it, he'll be the one. (The other candidates, for the record, are Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant. Pox vs. Jaw Jut/Biceps Kiss? In the octagon? I'd totally watch that.)
While Bynum is undoubtedly the big story, the rest of the day's injury news should not be pooh-poohed. Matt Barnes, who sat out last night's game, also stuck his surgically repaired right knee into the MRI machine- presumably not at the same time as Bynum- and received similarly good news. No new damage, so while he won't play tonight in Sacramento, Barnes is also expected to be ready once the playoffs begin. Given the recent struggles for L.A.'s bench, a more extended absence from Barnes would also have been very problematic this postseason.
Kobe controversy aside, it's been a good day for the Lakers.