As Brian mentioned via my earlier text update, the MRI on Andrew Bynum's Achilles revealed just a strain, which explains Drew's fairly high spirits during today's media meet and greet. Not that he's thrilled about being shelved. As he noted, it "kind of sucks." But given Drew's history of freak injuries causing long absences, breaking that streak was a win in and of itself. And hearing Bynum describe the innocuous circumstances leading up to the event, this definitely seems to fall into the "fluke" category.
"It was kind of crazy. I was just running. It was something really weird."
Whenever Bynum gets hurt, the instant reaction from fans and media is "Not again!!!" But that phrase didn't actually enter Drew's mind as he headed to the trainer's room with Gary Vitti. While injuries are always a scary prospect, Bynum had a pretty good feeling this one would prove less serious than his 2008 and 2009 knee injuries.
"Nah, because I walked off, so it wasn't as bad. It's better than being helped off or carried off. After it happened, I ran up the court once and then down and then off. So it's not as bad."
Phil Jackson reiterated Drew's relatively sunny outlook. The two actually joked about the injury's mysterious roots before the MRI exam even emerged with a less serious verdict, indicative of the young center's positive frame of mind.
"It wasn't that bad," said Jackson when I asked about Drew's frustration level. "He's a very optimistic young man. ... There wasn't as much remorse and ruing the fact that it happened as it could have possibly been, so I was kind of pleased about that."
In the meantime, Lamar Odom is dealing with a left shoulder injury sustained while dunking against Ray Allen when the Lakers hosted the Celtics on Feb. 18. He has since played 13 games with gritted teeth, an approach he'll have to undertake for the season's remainder and however far the Lakers advance in the playoffs. No small prospect, but the infamously southpawed player is able to maintain his sense of humor.
"My right hand might wake up. I might come out ambidextrous out of this whole thing."
One thing's set in stone. Missing games over this injury is not an option for Odom. As he put it, "My man (Kobe Bryant) is playing with a broken finger. Pau (Gasol) has been playing for four years straight. We're all tired and beat up. But the objective is win a championship, so I gotta keep my mind in a straight line. Focused."