It's a tough time for Philadelphia 76ers fans. Their head coach is mentally unravelling before their eyes, the team is 12 games under .500 and six games out of the final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, and now Andrew Bynum may have suffered another injury-related setback amid his attempted comeback.
Recall that the Sixers traded Andre Iguodala, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic and a future first-round pick for Bynum in a four-team deal back in August. The 25-year-old big man has the potential to dominate the NBA from the center position, but he hasn't played a single minute for Philadelphia this season.
He started working out in mid-January. He resumed on-court activities a week later. He practiced with the team and participated in a 5-on-5 drill just last Friday. Sixers blog Liberty Ballers has updated Bynum's progess at every stage of his recovery -- because he could drastically change the trajectory of the franchise if he ever got healthy -- and even they were starting to feel optimistic about the situation. Now it appears that the Friday practice has caused swelling in Bynum's knee, according to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Andrew Bynum has experienced some swelling in the knee since practice last Friday.— john mitchell (@JmitchInquirer) March 1, 2013
It's unclear whether this will cause the team to shut Bynum down and keep him off the court, but additional swelling sure sounds like another setback.
The 76ers are in a tricky spot as it is, because Bynum is in the final year of his contract and he will be a free agent this summer. They can offer him more money than any other team, but it's hard to put a price on his future production when he can't seem to get on the court.
They need to proceed cautiously to protect his future value if they still intend to re-sign him, but without court time there isn't any new information to evaluate leading up to such a big decision. Again, poor Philadelphia 76ers fans.
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