O.C. Register: Andrew Bynum, walking without so much as a slight limp, showed up in the Lakers locker room Thursday and declared himself pain-free.

Not home-free, just pain-free.

Bynum has been sidelined since suffering a tear of the medial collateral ligament in a game Jan. 31 and only recently began riding a stationary bike and working out on an eliptical machine. His return date is pegged for sometime between late March and early April and there isn’t any rush to get him back on the court.

Sean Zarzana, Bynum’s personal trainer, couldn’t pinpoint an exact date for Bynum to return playing, saying that the 21-year-old center has a long future ahead of him, so “we don’t want to rush things.”

“I’m optimistic,” Bynum said. “It feels really good and there’s nothing that I’m really concerned with.”

Bynum was exepcted to have treatment on his knee then watch the Lakers play Phoenix.