L.A. Times: As the Lakers wrapped up their final practice before Sunday’s first-round playoff game against the Denver Nuggets, Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza sat together on a large medicine ball.

Sunday and throughout the first round, the injured pair figure to be sharing a spot on the bench.

The odds of Bynum returning for the series from his knee injury were already small and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson ruled him out.

“I’d say it’s fair to say that,” Jackson said today.

As for Ariza, Jackson did not say the defensive-minded small forward was definitely out, but his chances of returning from a foot injury to face the Nuggets are slim.

“I’m not ruling out Trevor,” Jackson said, later adding: “He’s going to have to do some things, but this is a pretty long series and we have some games in between.”

  • Tangoman

    As long as they come back before conference finals, we’ll be okay.

  • schnide

    who’d have thought we’d be expecting ariza back before bynum?

  • http://swishtheball.net Billy Kupchak

    he can guard paul pierce in the finals

  • 123KID

    man what kinda doctors are workin on bynum! i wanna see him back for the conference series, so the lakers can just mash on everybody and off to the finals!

  • Jimmy

    I don’t know why they keep asking Phil. It’s all about what the doctors say and if they can clear him for practice.

  • sepehr

    I almost drool when I think of adding these 2 guys to the mix. This core of 8 players can compete for the next 5 years.

  • Keep Odom

    sepehr you are 100 right! Maybe even more than 5 years! Makes you wonder what the hell the medical staff is doing!

  • DCLAKER

    I hope Ariza gets to come back in this series.