Jackson: Bynum a month away

Andrew Bynum might not return to the Los Angeles Lakers before the NBA playoffs begin in April, coach Phil Jackson said Thursday.

Jackson said Bynum is probably a month away from returning from a torn MCL in his right knee. The Lakers end their regular season on April 14, with the playoffs starting soon afterward.

"I would say he's still like a month away from being a player," Jackson said, according to Los Angeles-area media reports. "And if he had to do that in the postseason, then he's going to have to do it. That's just part of it. It's going to change how he comes back obviously."

Bynum was hurt on Jan. 31 in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies and was expected to return in eight to 12 weeks. He has been riding a stationary bike and working out on a treadmill, but that alone won't get him into game shape, Jackson indicated.

"The best case is that he plays the first part of April," Jackson said. "On the pace he's been going at this point, it's really hard to see him in two weeks all of a sudden being able to do that."

Bynum was averaging 14 points and 8.2 rebounds per game when he was injured.