Sixers' Andrew Bynum taking baby steps

Posted: January 29, 2013

THE WORD surrounding Andrew Bynum lately has been "excited."

Someone apparently forgot to tell the 7-foot center. During a quick 2-minute interview with the media Monday (Bynum showed at his locker just before the room had to close per NBA rules), Bynum was very matter-of-fact in what has now become his weekly update. He reiterated that he is planning on returning sometime after the All-Star break and that his progress is steadily moving along.

"Baby steps," said Bynum. "Still no slides [lateral movement]but I dunked [Sunday], so I can still do that, that's good. Gradually increasing [elevating]. I did sprints today, wind sprints and slide. I'm a little bit farther ahead."

Friday, Bynum was seen doing some hard spin moves near the basket with no defense. Sunday, he was running on the antigravity treadmill and then, after reporters were asked to clear the gym, worked out.

"He's feeling better," said coach Doug Collins. "You can always tell when guys start feeling better. When you're hurt you don't feel like you're part of the team, especially a guy who has been traded here. You don't feel like you're a part of the team as much as if you've been around because when you're not out there playing and competing all you're doing is being a spectator and watching. It's a very helpless feeling. I think Andrew is starting to get more in with his teammates. In shootarounds he's down with the big guys, sort of walking through with some things and shooting a little bit. I get a sense that he's getting that feeling of being back in the mix, which is nice."

Before Monday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, general manager Tony DiLeo said the hope is that Bynum could get some practicing in as early as Friday. That appeared to be news to Bynum.

"I have no idea," said Bynum. "It will be up to the doctors at that point."

Collins also recovering

Doug Collins had to leave the bench during the third quarter of Saturday's win over the New York Knicks after a sinus infection became too much for him to handle. He was at the morning shootaround Monday and declared himself fit before the game.

"My sinus infection I got before the San Antonio game [Jan. 21] and I didn't see the doctor, so for about 4 days I was with that before I got the antibiotics," Collins said. "So 3 days of antibiotics and orders from my daughter and my son not to leave my house [Sunday] and I feel good."

The coach was also asked about the season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo. The Boston point guard found out Sunday that he has a torn ACL and will be lost for the season.

"I got a sick feeling in my stomach," Collins said, about hearing the news. "This league needs him. He is, in a lot of ways, their most important player. They're going to miss him."

Starters staying

Before Monday's game, Doug Collins said that staying with his starting lineup, that now includes Spencer Hawes and Nick Young, is something he is going to do.

"We'll go with it" said Collins. "I think it's something I want to stay with for a while. I like the fact that all five guys that are on the floor are threats offensively, which I think is important, especially when we start games and teams can't run off anybody [defensively] and you have to stay home on most people. I like our energy."

Hawes is in favor of the change, also.

"You always want to be a starter, anybody that says otherwise is lying to you," he said. "Right now if that's what we need to do, if we need that little spark early, hopefully I can be a part of providing it."

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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