Andrew Bynum is set to begin practicing with the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 24, one week before they open the season against Denver, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Those practices would start two days after Bynum gets an injection of the “joint lubricant” Synvisc-One in both knees (it replaces fluid that is gone to cushion the knee). That would give Bynum six practices with the team before the first game.
The question is how quickly he fits in, and also his conditioning. So Bynum playing opening night is not a lock, the Inquirer reports.
Bynum’s conditioning will be a concern. While he is able to do some cardiovascular work on what (76ers coach Doug) Collins has described as an “antigravity machine,” there is nothing Bynum can do to prepare him for games.
“A lot of that is going to be how he responds to increased activity,” Collins said when asked if Bynum would be ready for the start of the season. “I know how important the home opener is, but we’re not going to do anything silly and have another setback where it costs you and now you have to miss those kinds of games.”
And anti-gravity machine is really a treadmill where some of the runner’s weight is kept off his knees. Bynum has started running on one.
But that’s not the same as running in a game, with the stops and starts and contact. Not close.
But Bynum is apparently nearing a return close to the start of the season. Which should make Sixers fans breathe a little easier.