Earlier this week the 76ers announced that Andrew Bynum’s debut will not occur until January as Bynum continues to recover from a bone bruise in his right knee. The 7-6’s medical staff is taking a very cautious approach to his recovery and is hoping that he can begin practicing in December and the finally see game action in the middle of January.
As we all know, Bynum was acquired by the Sixers in a four-team deal this past summer, but has yet to even practice with the team because of his knee issues. The lingering knee problem Bynum is experiencing has a been a big topic of discussion here at the Philadunkia offices for weeks and this latest news has only fueled our fears that Bynum is not remotely close to taking the floor.
So, we decided to assemble some of our thoughts on Bynum’s knee into a post and vent them to you the readers after the jump.
I’m not a doctor (I just write like one on the Internet), but I was dwelling on Bynum’s “bone bruised” knee issue and then I started thinking about the fact that Adrian Peterson blew out the ACL in his knee during Week 16 of the 2011-12 NFL season and has returned in no time to dominate NFL defenses and lead the NFL in rushing. Going a little further back and keeping it Philly related, I remembered that T.O. suffered a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula thanks to Cowgirls safety Roy Williams and recovered to play in the Super Bowl eight weeks later. Owens credited Micro Current treatments and his infamous hyperbaric chamber for his quick recovery.
Now, obviously all injuries are unique and people heal differently, but if there is no structural damage to Bynum’s knee — which is what the Sixers are telling everyone — than what the hell is taking so long for the kid to get back on the court?
I realize that the Sixers don’t want to rush Bynum, but the All-Star center has not participated in any “basketball related activities” in months — probably since the Lakers were eliminated from the 2012 Playoffs. So at no point has Bynum been rushed. In fact one could argue that just the opposite has happened with this injury.
To me this has the smell of a Grant Hill ankle-leg situation (circa 2000) or Amare Stoudemire’s microfracture injury. Both incidents were shrouded in mystery and led to extremely prolonged absences from the game by both players. Based on Wednesday night’s performance against Detroit, a further extended absence on Bynum’s part would not be good for the 7-6.
Does anyone have Terrell Owens’ digits? Maybe Bynum could fit into his hyperbaric chamber.
Just sayin’, it couldn’t hurt to give the former diva / wide receiver a call.
In an age when contact athletes like Terrell Suggs come back from full bore Achilles tears in matters of months (I’ve had hangovers that lasted longer than Suggs’ rehab) there’s a cruelly anomalous edge to the news that Andrew Bynum will have missed at least twelve weeks with what amounts to a sore knee. If that’s what it is.
Thing is, nagging injuries seem to nag a little longer the larger their sufferers are. There’s a reason there’s a short supply of big people in professional basketball: not only are there few seven-footers around to begin with, but men that grow to that height are disproportionately beset by the sorts of injuries, maladies, and premature biomechanical breakdowns that truncate athletic careers. People aren’t supposed to be as big as Andrew Bynum is.
And so like GOPers on November 5, while we couldn’t bring ourselves to say it aloud, many of us saw trouble ahead, or should have. Healthy men don’t have multiple knee surgeries before their 24th birthdays. They don’t travel to Germany for experimental plasma procedures. They leap without pain, cut without hesitation, and remorseless squander hours playing NBA2K13 on Xbox; the latter of which is starting to feel like it might be the sole context in which anyone will ever get to see Andrew Bynum post a 20-10 in a 76ers uniform. Could be a long winter.
I don’t condone an organization lying to its fan base, which is what the Sixers have done regarding the status of Andrew Bynum’s knee so far this season. In an article I had written in the preseason, I pointed out how the injections on Bynum’s knee would keep him out at least a month and for the organization to string their fans along with the idea he’d be ready to suit up in the first game was totally out of line.
To then take another two weeks to announce that Bynum may not be in the lineup until January was the tip on the iceberg. To every fan who bought up tickets for the first two months of the Sixers season, they should demand a refund. I do believe that the Sixers are taking every precaution to have a fully healthy Bynum make his first appearance this season, but the secretive way in which the organization and ownership went about it to maximize ticket/jersey sales is wrong. After all, Bynum said in a recent press conference, “the latest timeline is not a setback. The plan was to rest for 8-12 weeks.” If this was the plan by the Sixers all along, why was there the need for the late announcement?
I for one don’t like being lied to and the fans deserve better.