Many Philadelphia 76ers fans must have thought that August 9th was April 1st. That’s the day when the Sixers not only shipped out Andre Iguodala as many had hoped, but they also acquired one of the best centers in the entire league in Andrew Bynum. Sure, he comes with a bit of baggage, gets hurt too much and only has one-year left on his contract. But so what, it’s low risk, high reward for the Sixers.
Now, they just need to get him healthy. He’s already been to Europe this offseason for some blood spinning treatments of some kind on his knee. And while Bynum acknowledged that the knee is getting better, he still doesn’t know when he’s going to return.
“I feel pretty good, I’m definitely getting better,” Bynum told reporters after practice Monday. “I’ve been really trying to get to know the offense because it’s all brand new. I’ve got a DVD so I’m going to watch some tape on it so I can familiarize myself on it for when I get back out.”
Any clue when that might happen?
“I’m not sure,” Bynum said. “It’s really up to the trainers and the doctors right now, but I think if all the beans were on the table right now I’d be out there. It definitely feels better. A lot of it has to do with my pain threshold. It’s just to the point where I can’t run up and down with the team right now.”
Just fyi, Andrew: Allen Iverson played in Philadelphia for a long time. You’d better hope you have an acceptable pain threshold or the Sixers fans will let you know about it. Ask Matt Geiger.
Head coach Doug Collins says he’s seeing improvement in Bynum.
“I just see he comes in and he’s got the little wrap and the brace on,” Collins of Bynum’s knee. “He’s out on the floor and he’s spinning and doing some stuff, doing some of the things he couldn’t do before. Plus, I see it in his personality, he’s happier. I think he senses he’s getting closer to play. Anybody that’s ever been injured, especially going to a new team where so much is expected, you want to get out there and play. It’s a downer. He’s worked his tail off. When he’s not watching he’s either doing something on the elliptical or in the weight room working and doing something. You can just sense that he’s feeling better. That’s a positive sign.
“Unless there’s any setback, I’d love to get at least seven good days in with him before we start [the regular season]. Once we start, when you throw a big guy in the game like that it changes the whole face of your team. We hope we’ll have some practice time with him to do that.”
Bynum is hoping to be back for the start of the regular season.