The Philadelphia 76ers were counting on center Andrew Bynum to be a threat around the basket and help propel them to greatness this season. Unfortunately, the latest of multiple setbacks means Bynum will most likely never suit up this season.
Bynum underwent Orthokine treatments on both of his knees before training camp to help heal his arthritis. He has also had a bone bruise on his right knee and then injured his left knee while bowling before the start of the regular season. He was determined to finally make his 76ers debut after the All-Star break, but that has obviously not happened.
It was revealed on March 1 that swelling in his bruised right knee has gotten worse to the point that playing this season is becoming unrealistic.
“It’s getting late (in the season), I don’t know,” Bynum said when asked about the possibility of reaching the court in 2013.
The last thing the 25-year-old wants to do is force his way into the lineup and then play with pain for the rest of the season. Just because the likelihood of him playing this year is deteriorating faster than his knees, it does not mean he is giving up all hope completely.
“I need to stay in some type of shape. I work when I can and take days off when I can,” he said.
This is clearly an effort for Bynum to show that he is still willing to try and play even if he is physically unable to. Considering he will become a free agent at the conclusion of the season, and it appears very unlikely Philadelphia will re-sign him for anything more than a minimum contract, Bynum will have to prove he can still perform if he wants to play in the NBA next season.
The fact is if he rests the entire off-season and stays clear of the bowling alley, the swelling in his right knee should go down. If he can get that to happen, he should be ready to go considering his left knee is fine as of right now. If all else fails, Bynum is still holding out hope that science will be his ally.
“They just grew cartilage in a petri dish, science is looking at it,” Bynum said. “Doctors are looking at it; they’re going to come up with something.”
What is that noise you ask? That’s the sound of every single 76ers fan slapping themselves.