by Marcel Mutoni

Now, before any of you get too emotional about a player whooping it up at The Mansion during his rehab from a serious knee injury, as his team’s title hopes hinge on the outcome of said rehab, do know this: Andrew Bynum is reportedly closer to returning than previously thought.

Ok, with that out of the way, we discuss the important stuff: Such as Bynum apparently testing the knee’s strength by carrying a Playmate on his shoulders. SI.com has the details:

While the Lakers were in Atlanta preparing for what would be an 86-76 loss to the Hawks on Sunday, Bynum was in Los Angeles mingling at a pajamas and lingerie party after the Playboy Golf Finals. Wearing a green smoking jacket and slippers, Bynum, whose injury status is generating daily headlines in Los Angeles, partied like a rock star near the infamous grotto.

He picked up Playmate Nicole Narain and placed her on his shoulders and got somebody to take a picture with his digital camera. Upper-body strength, check. He hopped over a velvet rope near the DJ booth so he could take a picture with Narain and other Playmates who ended up sitting on his lap. Jumping ability, check.

He sidestepped a few of the roaming cameras and got down with some Playmates on the checkered dance floor set up in the backyard. Lateral movement, check. Later, with lines around the bar getting longer, he pulled out a bottled beverage from one pocket and four plastic cups from another and offered up drinks to three Playmates who were with him. Ability to adjust to game situations, check.

Though he probably should be keeping a lower profile as he works to get back on the court before the Playoffs, it’s important to remember that the man is just 21 years old, and as such, will no doubt engage in questionable behavior from time to time.

Here’s to hoping he and the rest of the squad can get back to The Mansion in a couple of months for an even bigger celebration.