Kobe Bryant will sit, Andrew Bynum hits the treadmill

I'll have more from Monday's practice soon, but here are the big bits of news:

  • Kobe Bryant won' t play in the final two games of the regular season. The official reason: An avulsion fracture of the right index finger. Which is nice, I suppose, given he missed two games over the weekend with swelling in his right knee. That said, I'm sure the knee (and the ankle, groin, elbow, and back) had something to do with it. Let all the parts get well rather than playing games without a whole lot of meaning against teams (Sacramento, LA Clippers) they ought to beat without him. While the Lakers are currently one game behind Orlando for the league's second best record and could catch them, the Magic finish with Indiana and Philly, two extremely winnable games. Chances are the Lakers are locked into their current position.

  • Andrew Bynum spoke briefly to the media today, after running for 20 minutes on the AlterG machine (fancy anti-gravity treadmill able to support a portion of an athlete's body weight). "Basically just took about 30 pounds off my back and then ran. It worked fine. There was no pain," he said. "Tomorrow, I'll do a little bit longer, and put a little more weight on." Asked when he think he'll be back, Bynum was clear. "First game of the playoffs," he said. Today was the first heavy physical activity he's had since the injury, and assuming he comes through today's workout without pain and responds well again Tuesday, he hopes to be working out on the floor Wednesday.

More to come.