After two 10-day contracts, Lakers sign Mbenga for rest of year

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Los Angeles Lakers signed center
D.J. Mbenga for the rest of the season Monday.

Mbenga was originally signed to a 10-day contract on Jan. 21, a
week after center Andrew Bynum suffered a left knee injury. Mbenga
was signed to a second 10-day contract on Feb. 1.

Coach Phil Jackson said signing Mbenga for the rest of the year
is no reflection on Bynum's status. The Lakers hope Bynum will
return in a month.

Entering Monday's game against the Bobcats, Mbenga has averaged
1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds.