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Old 01-14-2008, 10:41 AM   #1
SoCalMike
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Default Article: LA TImes - When Bynum goes down, everyone feels the pain

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As soon as Andrew Bynum went down in a heap and didn't spring up, as soon as a grimace spread across the Lakers center's face and he reflexively clutched his left knee, what should have been an easy night against the Memphis Grizzlies became anything but routine.

The fans knew it right away.

They stood in front of their seats, the pricey courtside vantage points and the distant ones, craning to get a look at him.

All the while they hoped their eyes were deceiving them and that the 20-year-old's injury was not too bad, that his promising season -- and the Lakers' playoff hopes -- had not ended on a January night against Memphis.

The cavernous Staples Center, which can become so quiet, was filled with an audible murmur of concern and anxiety Sunday as the clock froze with 8 minutes 52 seconds left in the third quarter.

The fans were alarmed, and with good reason.

Bynum had sprained his left knee, a team spokesman said later. Although X-rays were negative, Bynum will undergo an MRI exam today and won't accompany the Lakers to their game at Seattle.

He was helped off the court, his face drawn and his ankle suspended in the air. Although he was able to smile later and say he was more frightened than hurt, he is not home-free.

His youth works in his favor, as does the fact that he had not hurt that knee before. He discarded his crutches as he left the arena, but the MRI exam should tell whether there's damage lurking beneath his swollen knee.



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