For the first time all season, Andrew Bynum woke up early and took part in the Sixers pregame shootaround on Monday morning at the Wells Fargo Center. But before anyone gets too worked up about an imminent return, relax.
Its not happening quite yet.
According to Bynum, he still is eyeing a return near the All-Star break.
The way the Sixers schedule breaks down, the Sixers head to Milwaukee on Feb. 13 for the last game before the break and then return to action on Feb. 20 in Minnesota, followed by a game at home against Miami on Feb. 23.
My knees feel good and Im not feeling any pain, so its all good, Bynum said before Mondays game against San Antonio.
Last month Bynum said he was engaging in a six-part rehab process to recover from a bilateral bone bruise in both knees. He also said he has no cartilage in his knees, but that the swelling from the injury had dissipated. On Monday, Bynum said, everything is picking up, though he admitted he had not done much jumping or running where he had to start and stop.
Fitness-wise, Bynum says he expects a struggle when he returns.
Obviously its going to be bad, Bynum said. I havent been running on the court and I havent been running with as much weight on the Ultra-G anti-gravity treadmill.
However, Bynum says he expects things to fall into place quickly when he is able to run on the court with his teammates. Next up, he says, are lateral-movement drills where he will be cutting and doing defensive slides.
I just want to get back, Bynum said.
I still havent done lateral movement. Thats going to be the biggest test. Cutting is the last thing to do.
How good could the Sixers be with Bynum? Pretty darned good, according to coach Doug Collins, who says the team would have seven or eight more wins with Bynum.
Given that the Sixers enter Mondays game nine games behind the Knicks in the Atlantic Division, Bynum would put the Sixers right in the hunt for the Eastern Conference lead.
He sees us and knows where we are and hes sitting there thinking that if he was playing that wed have seven or eight more wins, Collins said.
Nevertheless, Bynum is going to exercise caution. After all, he is in the last year of his contract and at age 25, Bynum is in line for an extremely lucrative deal.
In other words, Bynum will hit the court when he is healthy.
I want it to go smoothly. I dont want any setbacks, Bynum said. If I go out there, Ill do something stupid.
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