Andrew Bynum’s debut with the 76ers is on hold again.
GM Tony DiLeo claimed Saturday that Bynum is out indefinitely and there’s no timetable set for his 1st game. The All-Star center was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in a 4-team trade before the season.
”We don’t know when he’ll be back,” DiLeo declared. ”Only Andrew’s body can answer that question. When he feels better, we are able to step up the rehab program. We just have to wait to see how he responds to the rehab.”
Bynum had been recovering from a bone bruise on his right knee and the 76ers were hoping he would be cleared to return to basketball activities by December 10. But he injured his left knee while bowling 2 weeks back and now his return has been pushed back 4 times since the start of training camp.
”I want to emphasize that we’ve been forthcoming and consistent with the information,” DiLeo said. ”We’ve declared all along that we need some patience and this is a hard-to-predict healing process. Andrew, how his body reacts is the indicator in when and how he will be able to take the very next step in his rehab program.”
DiLeo related Bynum has ”bilateral bone bruises and a weakened cartilage state” in his knees. Still, DiLeo protected the trade that sent All-Star forward Andre Iguodala to Denver in the multi-team deal. The Sixers are 7-5 in their first 12 games.
”We need to put this behind us now and focus on the rest of our team,” DiLeo announced. ”We don’t know when he’s coming back, but we have got a good team out there. We have got a great training staff that’s doing a great job. We are playing hard each night and we need to focus on the team going forward.”
Bynum, 25 years old, is in the final year of his agreement and could sign a 5-year deal more valuable than $100 million in the offseason, if he’s healthy. But his doubtful standing might be costing the 7-footer millions.
”We are in charge of his rehab and right now he’s just doing low-impact impact rehab things,” DiLeo announced. ”We are doing everything possible, leaving no stone unturned in consulting with the best experts in the world. We’re looking into his rehab program, talking to doctors. We’re doing everything feasible to get him back on the court because we want to see that and our fans want to see that.”
DiLeo said the team is still hoping Bynum will heal but admits it already has to take a look at other scenarios.
“We hope that he will back; we’re anticipating he’ll be back at some point,” DiLeo related. “We have plans for the future if he isn’t back with us but we wish to plan on him being here long-term.”
Bynum won 2 NBA titles in 7 seasons with the Lakers. The Sixers were hoping he could help them become one of the league’s elite teams. Baseball scores
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