HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The next time you see Andrew Bynum in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform, you’ll probably be enjoying your Christmas gifts and breaking whatever New Year’s resolutions you’ve made.
That’s right, the Sixers big man has had his liftoff date for the 2012-13 season pushed back yet again, this time until January, according to a report released by the team this morning. This is not what anyone had in mind when the Sixers acquired Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers in that blockbuster Dwight Howard deal.
He was supposed to usher in Philly’s new era, at least temporarily (he is free agent at season’s end), as the new face of the franchise and the best big man in the Eastern Conference.
Instead, a bone bruise on his right knee has delayed his Sixers debut and will continue to do so, according to that report released by the team:
Andrew received a fresh MRI and was seen again by Dr. Altchek this past week on Monday, November 5.
At that evaluation, Dr. Altcheck extended Andrew’s return date for a second time by an additional three weeks. However, in what the Sixers believe is an optimistic sign, Dr. Altchek also indicated that Andrew could immediately resume low impact exercise. Low impact exercise for a period of two weeks is to be followed by three weeks of conditioning on an anti-gravity treadmill. The doctors and the team will be closely watching how Bynum’s knee responds during this five-week regimen. Upon successful completion, Bynum is expected to be able to resume normal basketball activity.
If the current prognosis holds unchanged, Bynum would be cleared to resume normal basketball activity by approximately December 10. In addition, the team estimates that Bynum in turn will need an additional 1-4 weeks thereafter for conditioning, training and practice before being able to resume game play with significant minutes.
Tony DiLeo, the 76ers General Manager said, “We know that Sixers fans are eager to see Andrew Bynum play and shine in a 76ers uniform. We also know that no one is more eager to see Andrew play for the Sixers than Andrew himself. He fully realizes the key contribution he can make to the team. Hopefully, that day is coming soon.”
Math wasn’t my strongest subject in college, but if Bynum has another five weeks of “low-impact exercise and conditioning” followed by another “one to four weeks of conditioning, training and practice” before he can play significant minutes, then he’s an afterthought for the Sixers until January, provided there aren’t any other setbacks during these next nine weeks.
The Sixers (4-2) have managed to survive without Bynum so far, a task that will no doubt get more difficult the deeper as the season goes on. But this is the risk they took when they decided to go after a big man with a checkered health history.