EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum's troublesome right knee was drained of excess fluid Monday.
Bynum hopes the procedure will allow him to play closer to full strength in the NBA finals against the Boston Celtics. Los Angeles hosts Game 1 on Thursday night.
"It was getting worse," Bynum said. "The swelling wasn't leaving, so they had to do it. I was doing the treatment, but it wasn't going anywhere."
The Lakers discovered a small tear in Bynum's meniscus during their first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City, and the injury has limited him since. He still has started all 16 of the Lakers' playoff games, averaging 9.1 points and 7.7 rebounds but playing only 24 minutes per game.
Bynum expects to return to practice Wednesday. He has sat out most of the Lakers' recent practices to rest his knee.
Coach Phil Jackson said Bynum is likely to be limited, but should play against the Celtics. Bynum's low-post defense could be valuable after two previous playoff series against teams that couldn't match the Lakers' height.
"I'm out there for whatever they ask me to do, any amount of minutes," Bynum said. "You don't come this far just to say, 'OK, I can't go any more.'"