by Ryne Nelson

There’s no other way to spin it: the Lakers are in some deep trouble. Phil Jackson lamented Bynum’s injury after its win against Memphis, and with good reason. Bynum was coming into his own, averaging about 26 ppg in his past five. It was the most forlorn Jackson’s been in front on of the media in a long time.

Jackson as well as the rest of the Lakers had hopes of taking its Western Conf.-best record deep into the Playoffs again, but things have gotten a lot more difficult. The news of Bynum’s torn MCL, comes straight from the Lakers organization:

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has a torn right MCL and will be sidelined eight to 12 weeks, the team announced Monday.

So suddenly, the Lakers of 2009 look a lot like the Lakers of 2008. Except this time, the Grizzlies Chris Wallace doesn’t seem to be willing to give up his big man in exchange for an expiring or two.

In a best-case scenario, Bynum returns in eight weeks on April 1. That means he would play in the Lakers’ final eight regular-season games. But don’t expect to see Bynum until the Playoffs, if at all.

(Hat-tip: Matt Moore)