Thursday , Mar , 20 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Andrew Bynum Returning Sooner than Expected

Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who on Tuesday said Bynum would not be ready to play until the playoffs begin, said Wednesday that the center could return as early as two weeks before the start of the first round, The Los Angeles Times reported.

"I threw that out there [Tuesday] to kind of take everything off the table," Jackson said, according to The Times. "We’re [now] saying it was three weeks as of [last] Sunday. It would give him a week — four games, three games."

Bynum has been out since Jan. 13, when he dislocated his left kneecap and bruised a bone landing on a teammate’s foot while going for a rebound. The Lakers haven’t been more specific about his recovery than saying he would be out for at least eight weeks. [ESPN]