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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Monday, October 15, 2012


Andrew Bynum will undergo a Synvisc (joint grease) injection in his right knee, the Sixers announced Monday.

And while Sixers coach Doug Collins didn't sound convinced that Bynum would be ready by the Oct. 31 opener, he didn't say it's out of question.

Instead, Collins said he's going to "listen to (Bynum) and his body and when he's ready to play."

Below is a transcript of Collins from Monday, prior to the 76ers' preseason game against Boston at Wells Fargo Center, during which Collins said he expects Bynum to return to the court Oct. 24. That'll give the center six days of practice before the opener.

Here's what Collins had to say:

On Bynum update
“He’s on track to where he hoped he’d be at this time. Obviously the next step for him is going to be getting weight-bearing and running. I talked to him about that today. This is not like the first time he’s gone through this. He’s had this before. He knows how to handle it. The one thing that helps me as a coach is I dealt with injuries as a player. My career was cut short because I was told I had a low threshold of pain. I tried to play with two broken feet and I blew out a knee. My career was over. This kid’s 24 years old and we’re going to listen to him and his body and when he’s ready to play, he’s going to be out there and be playing."

On reason to believe he won’t be ready by Oct. 31:
“From the timetable I’ve been given, he’s going to have the injection on the 22nd. Normally I think you’d have to rest that a day. I looked at our practice schedule and I think we have the 23rd off based upon our exhibition schedule. We’ll practice the 24th, 25th and 26th. I have to give him another day off, then we’ll go the 28th, 29th and 30th. Then we start, so a lot of that is going to be how he responds to increased activity. I know how important the home opener is, but we’re not going to have another setback to where it costs you during the season where the games are being played. I’m going to listen to Andrew. I think he and I have a good relationship with one another about the trust issue and talking and doing those things."

On current pain level
“He’s a big man. He’s 290 pounds. He’s carrying a lot of weight and every time that foot hits the floor, there’s a lot of weight on that joint. We just got the Bynum Mobile in the practice facility – the antigravity machine that takes up to 80 percent of your body weight off and you can run. We’re going to hope, little by little, that he can do that. You know, the big thing with him is he said to me this morning, ‘If I had to play now based upon the pain, I could play. I could play with the pain that I’m feeling.’ The big thing about it is you don’t get the swelling. That’s where you get the stiffness and the problems with the mobility."

On the timetable
“If you get injured during the season and you miss three weeks, chances are you were in pretty damn-good shape when you got hurt. This is something that’s happened when he’s had the summer off, so you have to factor in the inactivity of the summer. Andrew’s a hard worker. I always kid him that I’m a bitch on the elliptical, but two times up and down the floor, I’m not very good. When you get in that pool, you might be Michael Phelps, but when you start running it’s a different world. He’s going to be in good cardiovascular (shape), but the big thing is his timing. He’s a skilled big man, and there’s going to be so much pressure on him when he comes out and he’s ready to play. We’ll factor all those things in. I know Andrew. I know he wants to play right now. Michael Jordan used to have a great line one year when he didn’t get to play for the Bulls one year when they were monitoring his minutes. He said, ‘Be careful when you have a thoroughbred. You don’t want to hold him back. Eventually he’ll stop running.’ We don’t want him to lose the feeling of wanting to run, but at the same time, we have to really be smart and do all the things we do to help him monitor the situation. Sometimes an athlete’s competitive heart can get the best of him."

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