HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Andrew Bynum‘s first training camp with the Philadelphia 76ers will get a late start. In fact, Bynum will miss 21 straight days of basketball activity due to a bone bruise in his right knee. He had a surgical procedure performed on both knees in Germany during the offseason.
The Sixers announced Monday that he would be allowed to continue “low-impact conditioning drills.” Bynum had injections of plasma-rich platelets that supposedly stimulate healing in arthritis-affected areas in both of his knees. The Sixers said last week he was cleared to play in camp.
Bynum went to Germany for the same Orkothine therapy procedure that former teammate Kobe Bryant had done before last season. He’s had issues with both of his knees in the past. He dislocated his left knee cap in 2007-08 and had arthroscopic surgery after the regular season ended. He also has surgery on his right knee after the 2009-10 season.
The Skinny: Whatever time Bynum misses in training camp will be well worth it to ensure that the Sixers get a full 82 games, or as close to it as possible, out of a player set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end. The prized big man acquired in that blockbuster, four-team deals that also sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets, will still be around his new teammates during camp and whatever chemistry they forge then should be sufficient. But this latest injury issue does raise a bit of a red flag for skeptics who wonder whether Bynum is ready for his role as the face of a franchise.