Andrew Bynum has 'setback' in other knee
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Hope took a hit Friday night before the Sixers took the court against the Utah Jazz. Andrew Bynum, as he did last Monday, addressed the media in front of his locker. This time, he said he had experienced a setback not just with his right knee, but his left knee as well.
“I'm doing alright, I had a little bit of a setback just working through some issues with the right knee, kind of mirroring my left knee,” Bynum said. “I don't know what's going on. The doctors are saying to wait, I guess because of the cartilage. They're not giving me anything real definite. I just have to wait for the cartilage to get stronger. It's in both knees. Same spot, both knees.
“We were just doing routine things and it started swelling up. It wasn't any blunt force injury.
Bynum had said at the beginning of the week that he was given a timetable of
five more weeks of low impact conditioning with the hopes of being on
the practice court Dec. 10. It would then take another 1-4 weeks of practice before he could appear in a game.
“From our point of view, it's a situation where we need to continue to be patient and cautious,” Sixers GM Tony DiLeo said. “We're looking long-term, not short-term. We're going to do what's best for Andrew and what's best for the organization and try to get him as healthy as can be and get him on the court when we're ready.”
Bynum says he is sticking with the previously proposed plan, but it would appear he needs a miracle to actually see that timetable come to fruition.
“I'm still on that [Phase 1, Phase 2] schedule. The setback is what I'm doing now, running on the elliptical, stuff like that,” Bynum said. “It's basically the same in both knees. It's under control. It's just in the same spot, same cartilage on both sides. The pain level is relatively low on everyday activities. The more impact the higher it is.”
Bynum will stay off the elliptical for now and stick to getting his conditioning by swimming in the pool. Bynum said he noticed a couple days ago that there was increased swelling in both knees. He said he did nothing mechanically to cause the change, which is why he is perplexed.
“This is a weird issue,” Bynum said. “I've never had any cartilage issues. I had the meniscus thing, but that doesn't hurt, that's fine. We don't know what's going on. I don't know. It's just frustrating. This is an issue that's just going to take time to resolve. There's no procedures or anything that can be done.”
And therein lies the biggest problem -- Bynum and the Sixers are in a sit and wait situation, all the while Bynum is on the clock. The 25-year-old is in the final year of his contract. When healthy, he puts up all-star worthy statistics like he did a year ago, when he averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers. But he has appeared in just 392 games over his previous six years in the league.
“Plain and simple, we're trying to rehab his knees so they can get healthy and he can get out there and play like he did last season,” DiLeo said. “That's our goal. When he's ready, and it's hard to predict when he'll be ready, but hopefully sooner than later. Our main concern is Andrew's health. Our main concern is big picture. We want to have a long relationship with him. That's why we're doing this.”
The Sixers will be able to pay Bynum more money than any other team, but how do you invest max money in a 7-footer who may play just a handful of games because he has a history of knee injuries, with the latest being weakened cartilage?
Someone will invest in Bynum whether he appears in half the games this season or only eight, as Elton Brand did after he tore his Achilles’ tendon prior to the last year of his contract with the Clippers. Brand was then given the “Philly max” in the summer of 2008.
Of equal concern is the root of the current cartilage problem -- did the Orthokine therapy Bynum had in Germany this past September have anything to do with what he is now experiencing? And if so, is there a way to reverse the symptoms?
There are many questions, few answers and no all-star center in the fold for the foreseeable future.E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com