Sixers GM Tony DiLeo: No timetable for Andrew Bynum's return

Posted: November 25, 2012

There is no longer a timeline for 76ers center Andrew Bynum to make his debut with the team, according to general manager Tony DiLeo.

"I just want to emphasize that we have been forthcoming and consistent with the information," DiLeo said. "We have said all along that we need some patience, and that this is hard to predict this healing process and that Andrew is the indicator and how his body reacts is how we can take the next step in his rehab program. The bottom line is that Andrew is out indefinitely; we don't know when he'll be back. Andrew is the only person who can answer that."

The most recent timetable, though loosely constructed, called for the Sixers to reevaluate Bynum on or around Dec. 10. At that time the Sixers hoped that Bynum, who last played an NBA game on May 21, would be able to resume basketball-related activities. At that time the Sixers had hoped Bynum would be able to make his debut with the team, playing limited minutes, in the time between late January and mid-December.

This timetable, however, came into question in the last week when Bynum confirmed a report that he may have done more damage to his knees while bowling. Originally diagnosed with a bone bruise to his right knee, Bynum said that he now has a bone bruise to his left knee. He also reported that an MRI had revealed that the cartilage in both of his knees were now in a "weakened state."

"His condition now and what it was at the trade deadline are completely different," DiLeo said.

"We are anticipating that he will be back. We hope that he will be back. We have plans for the future if he is not back with us. But we are anticipating that this is a short-term thing but we are planning on him being with us long term."

The Bynum mystery began to unfold when the Sixers, who acquired him along with shooting guard Jason Richardson in a four-team deal back on Aug. 10, announced on the first day of training camp that Bynum would not participate in training camp. The reason given was Bynum was recovering from the initial bone bruise, and that the Sixers wanted to allow the "therapeutic effects" of noninvasive Orthokine shots - administered in Germany in mid-September - to work.

The new plan called for the administration of Synvisc-One - shots designed to relieve pain in people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee - on Oct. 22, two days rest, and then to have Bynum have his first practice with the team on Oct. 24. The shots, which Bynum has had administered in previous seasons, did not work.

The Sixers eventually ruled out having Bynum for the team's 2011-12 debut on Oct. 31. In the time since, the Sixers have continued to prepare for games as if they would be without Bynum.

The Sixers said that they had four independent doctors examine MRIs of both of Bynum knees before trading for him.

To acquire Bynum, the Sixers dealt all-star Andre Iguodala to Denver, and Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a future first-round draft pick to Orlando. Bynum is in the last year of his contract and will collect $16.4 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

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