Despite recent surge, Bynum playing with sore knee

The Los Angeles Lakers’ recent surge as the NBA’s hottest teams has coincided with the return to the lineup of center Andrew Bynum.

The Lakers have streaked to a 10-1 record since the All-Star break. Bynum has been one of the biggest reasons as he’s averaged 12.9 rebounds — including a career-best 18 against Orlando and 17 against the Spurs — and 2.6 blocked shots during that span. He’s averaging 15.8 rebounds in his last six games.

After missing the first 24 games of the season recovering from off-season surgery on his right knee, Bynum took some time getting acclimated back to basketball. The Lakers started 17-7 in those games.

Bynum told the Los Angeles Times he’s in every practice and game.

“I have a little bit of fluid,” Bynum told the Times. “I’m still taking medication. I’ll let you all know when I get off that, and it’ll be fine.”

When Bynum is playing like he has in recent games, the Lakers have an unstoppable force in the middle.

But his knee pain still raises concerns whether he can stay healthy throughout the playoffs. Bynum’s knee remains one of the primary questions that hovers over the Lakers’ hopes of claiming a third straight NBA title.

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