Injury is right up Andrew Bynum's alley

Posted: November 19, 2012

WHILE SOME questions get answered and more questions arise as the discussions about Andrew Bynum's knees become more frequent, the overriding realization seems to be pretty simple: Bynum has two bad knees that very well could hinder him for the rest of his career. As for whether he will be seen in a 76ers uniform this season? Well, like everything else surrounding Bynum's knees, it's a puzzle.

Before Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and hours after an ESPN report circulated about Bynum injuring his left knee while bowling, the 7-foot center admitted as much.

"Same exact injury, mirror images of the knees," said Bynum, who has been out with a bone bruise on the right knee since injuring that in mid-September. "I think it happened bowling, to be honest. I don't think anybody could've told me that I couldn't do that. I was doing squatting in the low-impact training, so . . . It is what it is. The cartilage is in a weakened state, that's what the doctors tell me and know it's the same, going through the same thing that I have in the right in the left. It's identical."

The timeline of all these troubles goes this way: Bynum went to Germany to have an Orthokine injection in both knees. That is basically a blood-spinning injection that is supposed to make the knees feel better for the long haul, which is the season. The reason it was done so close to training camp, Bynum has said, was so the procedure was fresh in the knees to keep them feeling at their best throughout the season. Shortly thereafter, Bynum suffered a bone bruise to his right knee while working out by himself.

In an update last Monday, the Sixers said Bynum would continue his low-impact rehab and progress from there to the point where they hoped he would take to the court on Dec. 10. Then it would take up to a month for him to get in basketball shape and return to the team around that time period.

Then, when Bynum met with media on Friday, he revealed that he had incurred swelling in his left knee during low-impact workouts. General manager Tony DiLeo said that an MRI had been performed on the left knee earlier that week. Then Sunday, Bynum let it be known that the bowling was likely the culprit for the swollen left knee.

"I didn't do anything. I didn't twist it, I didn't fall or nothing," said Bynum of the critical bowling adventure. "It got big. [It swelled up after bowling?] Exactly."

While many will question why Bynum was out bowling with aching knees in the first place, the focus should be on the fact that here is a 25-year-old man who gets swelling in a knee after bowling, which is certainly not a good sign.

"Obviously that's the question that all the doctors kind of have, and myself," said Bynum. "You do that [bowling], which is relatively nothing, three steps. What would happen when you play? I think that's the most important thing and why everyone is being so cautious. I can't answer and they can't now, either. We're trying to figure out what's going on.

"It sucks, No. 1. And No. 2, I just don't know what to expect. There's really nothing more to say about it. It's what happened. I have issues with my knees and we're going to have to try to resolve it. There's really nothing to do, there's no surgical procedures that would really help or are safe to do at the moment. I just kind of have to bide my time."

While Bynum received the preseason injections as a preventative step, you have to wonder if maybe they had an adverse effect. Or maybe last year's condensed season, in which Bynum played in 60 of 66 games, contributed to the troubles.

"I have no idea. That's a theory," Bynum said of last season. "Another one is what's going on with the injections or I just have bad cartilage. I don't know. It's a possibility [that procedure had something to do with it]. I don't know. I came back feeling good but then had an incident in a relatively short period after that. I have no idea."

Bynum said the team really had no reaction to his bowling, but in hindsight maybe it wasn't the best of ideas. Yet, it wasn't as if he was blazing down a black diamond trail in the Poconos.

"I'm taking it day to day, which is probably the wrong thing to do in this situation, but I'm just waiting for the doctors to kind of give me something and they're waiting for me to tell them my knees don't hurt," he said. "That's where I'm at.

"I've pretty much seen every specialist and my doctor is a really good doctor [David W. Altchek]. At the moment we're just kind of waiting for the cartilage to harden up. I don't know. I'm sure some people would feel like that [that he shouldn't be bowling], but I'm kind of taking the position that if it happened bowling, what happens dunking?"

" @BobCooney76


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