Andrew Bynum still cannot pin down date for Sixers debut

Posted: February 06, 2013

IN THE LATEST update on Andrew Bynum, provided by him Monday before the 76ers hosted the Orlando Magic, the center said the target date for him to debut with the team is still sometime this month. If you're looking to get tickets to a game in the hopes of seeing him, however, he was not ready to provide specifics.

"Not a specific target date, but it's in February," Bynum said. Then added: "That's the target, I guess."

It has been a guessing game since the team announced the day before training camp that the offseason's biggest acquisition was out with bone bruises in both knees. But the 7-foot, 300-pounder is still optimistic about being on the floor with his new teammates sometime around the All-Star break, though his latest Synvisc lubrication injections administered last week provided little relief.

"They didn't really help that much, to be honest," Bynum said. "My right knee, I guess it feels phenomenal, but my left knee, I still feel a little bit of that stuff. It was an attempt at just trying to ease the pain a little bit."

"That stuff" refers to the cartilage in his left knee catching. Bynum hopes that issue will be resolved, the way it has been in the right knee.

"At this point, no. The only reason I wouldn't play would probably be a bone bruise or something like that. It's still in there, we're just trying to grind it up without creating a bone bruise," he said. "It's a fine line. It catches. It used to catch in my right knee, but it [cartilage] broke off and ground up. I don't feel anything in my right knee, so we're just hoping this one does the same."

In the meantime, he is putting in his work and the hopes remain the same.

"Now we're up to about 2-, 2 1/2-, 3-hour days," he said. "It's all running, elliptical, weights - lower and upper - and basketball at the same time. So it's good.

"Jumping and impact and lateral stuff is still tough. Defensive slides, getting low. It's almost like a range issue or a range-of-motion type of issue. I'm doing 75 to 80 percent [body weight on anti-gravity treadmill]. Still one-on-zero [on court]; it's more aggressive, but still one-on-zero. I hope to be at that stage soon, at least one-on-one, two-on-two."

Once again, time will tell.

Keep the focus

It is that time of the season when minds start to wander and bodies are dragging. That's why players look forward to the All-Star break, so they can recharge their batteries. But thinking about the break too soon obviously can be a hindrance.

Fortunately for the Sixers, they are in the middle of a stretch of playing 12 out of 13 at home, which is a good way to keep them focused.

"We want to get these last couple, obviously, before the All-Star break," said Jrue Holiday, who will play for the Eastern Conference squad on Feb. 17 in Houston. "It's even tougher, because you know the All-Star break is coming up, and guys just get to zone out and not think about basketball.

"As a team, if we can get these last couple, it will definitely help us move forward to the second half of the season. I think the last couple of years, we've done pretty good at the end of the first half and got some wins, and that usually carries over."

Richardson update

Jason Richardson went to Colorado last week to have his ailing left knee checked. Monday morning reporters were told he was getting checked by Dr. David Altchek. Richardson was in the locker room before Monday night's game getting treatment, limping noticeably with a big bag of ice around the knee.

Asked before the game about Richardson's availability, coach Doug Collins said, "He just got a third opinion on his knee, so he's probably going to be out for a while."

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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