Andrew Bynum's inability to return to play has taken another setback, as the Philadelphia 76ers centerpiece who was supposed to play months ago told reporters back-to-back weekend workouts on a court caused unexpected pain in his knee.
Bynum worked out Saturday and Sunday in sessions that lasted as long as two hours, not at full speed with teammates, but in drills that included dunking and running up and down the court. But after saying progress was being made and that game action was near, he said he was experiencing extreme pain, especially in his left knee, as Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:
"I'm not very optimistic," Bynum said. "When I get on the court, that's when I want to be ready. I'm trying as hard as I can. It would suck to play through pain, but sometimes you have to. Not actually [going through] contact. I went through some drills with teammates and stuff but no contact."
Asked if this pain is worse than any he has played through before, Bynum said: "Definitely, I think it's just not ready yet."
Last week, Bynum had said he would probably return by the end of the month, but when asked Monday about a February return date, he said he wasn't sure it would happen. The 25-year-old Bynum has yet to play this season after posting career highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds with the Lakers last year. With his $16 million contract expiring at the end of the year, he'll need to return to the court and show something this season to prove he's worth a big free agent gamble in the offseason -- not to mention that his team is three games out of the playoff race with its big offseason acquisition sidelined.
The 7-footer said he was glad to be back on the court and that he was nearing playing weight, as he's down to 305 pounds, about 10-20 more than he expects to weigh in-season. His string of optimistic updates followed by apparent setbacks to both knees is quite the saga, which you can follow from its beginning here.