The latest official news on Andrew Bynum, who's been out since 1/13, is that "his knee still feels "unstable", and that he feels pain during movement", according to the L.A. Times on 4/12. Now, 6 days laters and 2 days till game 1 of the LA-DEN series, people are speculating that he may not return until the Western Conference Finals, to give him extra rest since he shouldn't be needed until the Lakers face the Spurs or possibly the Suns, who both have big centers that Pau Gasol wouldn't be able to handle.
As I wrote before, Bynum's key auto rookies have hit record TAC values since he's been out. Collectors were hyped when he was playing so well at the beginning of the season, and it seems that they've just continued to carry that feeling for the past few months, with the expectation that he would return to help lead the Lakers to a championship. I myself have shared this sentiment, to some degree, also. It's probably true that they couldn't contain Tim Duncan without Bynum (although in the case of the Suns, Shaq is a far cry from what he used to be several years ago, and the Lakers could probably deal with him on the floor for 25 mpg). In my opinion, the Lakers can make it to the Western Finals without Bynum, but to move on to the finals with Boston, they'll need him on the floor playing close to the level he left off at when he got hurt.
Bynum's 05-06 SP Authentic Auto RC #'d 1299 is averaging $98.05 TAC in April (another monthly record high), up from $87.73 in March (and up from $24.34 last November!). His 05-06 SPx Auto/Jsy RC #'d 1499 is averaging $88.90 in April, down from $97.10 in March. I'm attributing his SPx price drop to the lazy sig that's on this card - "AB#17" (check out my post on 11/27/06 titled "Player Focus: Andrew Bynum Auto Variations" for more details). Although, I wouldn't be surprised if this card does start to jump up to the $100+ range, since collectors tend to like the triple-threat rookie card: serial #'d, auto & game-used all on the same card.