"Andrew is doing well, he's progressing," coach Doug Collins said. "[He's] on track to where, I think, to where he hoped he would be at this time. Obviously, the next step for him is when he is going to get weight-bearing and running. I talked to him about that [Monday]. This isn't the first time that he's gone through this. He's had this before. He knows how to handle it. The one thing that helps me as a coach is that I dealt with injuries as a player. My career was cut short, because I was told that I had a low threshold of pain. I tried to play with two broken feet, and I blew out a knee and my career was over.
"This kid is 24 years old and we're going to listen to him and his body, and when he's ready to play, he's going to be out there and he's going to be playing. You're playing for a coach who had no conscience shooting and a guy who understands injuries, and so I'm very sensitive to those things."
Whether Bynum will be ready for the beginning of the season on Oct. 31 when the team hosts the Denver Nuggets remains up in the air, just as it has been since the team announced on Oct. 1 the center would miss 3 weeks with a bone bruise. The statement also said that this procedure has nothing to do with the bone bruise, but is all part of the rehabbing plan.
"From the timetable that I've been given is that he's going to have the injection on the 22nd, and I think you have to rest that a day," Collins said. "I looked at our practice schedule, and I think we have the 23rd off, based on our exhibition. We'll practice the 24th, 25th and 26th, and then I'll have to give them another day off, and then we'll practice the 28th, 29th and 30th, and then we start. A lot of that is going to be how he responds to increased activity. Again, I know how important the home opener is, I know all that kind of stuff. We're not going to do anything silly and have another setback to where now it costs you during the season, where the games are being played and you're missing them. I'm going to listen to Andrew. I think he and I have a good relationship with one another with the trust issue and the talking and those types of things. We'll play it like that.
"He's a big man; he's 290 pounds. He's carrying a lot of weight. Every time that foot hits the floor, there's a lot of stress on that joint. I think the big thing with him - and he said this morning, 'If I had to play now, based upon the pain, I could play. I can play with the pain that I'm feeling' - the big thing about it is that he doesn't get swelling, because then you get the stiffness and the problems with the mobility."
Should Bynum be ready to hit the floor before the season starts, the concern is what kind of shape he will be in. Certainly, he won't be able to carry a load of minutes right away.
"If you get injured during the season and you miss 3 weeks, chances are, you were in pretty damn good shape when you got hurt," Collins said. "This is something that's happened where he's had the summer off, so you have to factor in the inactivity of the summer. Andrew is a hard worker. But I always kid, I'm a bitch on the elliptical, but two times up and down the floor, I'm not very good. You can get in the pool and be Michael Phelps, but when you have to start running, it's a different world. He's going to be good cardiovascular, but the big thing is going to be his timing; he's a skilled big man. And there's going to be so much pressure on him when he's ready to come out and play. We're going to factor all those things in. I know one thing, I know he wants to play right now.
"Michael Jordan used to have a great line when the Bulls one year were monitoring his minutes, he said, 'With a thoroughbred, you don't want to hold him back, because eventually he'll stop running.' We don't want him to lose that feeling of wanting to run, but, at the same time, we have to really be smart in all the things that we do in monitoring that situation. Sometimes an athlete's competitive heart can get the best of them."
Contact Bob Cooney at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BobCooney76. For more Sixers coverage, read his blog at philly.com/Sixerville.