Andrew Bynum suffers injury setback: 'I don't want to play in pain'

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum admitted to reporters on Friday that he is experiencing swelling in his knee after he engaged in 5-on-5 drills with the team one week prior.

Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum has suffered another setback in his recovery from persistent knee injuries. This time there is swelling in his right knee, which developed after he participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage with the team for the first time this season last Friday. Now Bynum is unsure if he will play for the Sixers at all in the 2012-13 NBA season.

Bynum addressed the media on Friday afternoon regarding the latest setback, but he didn't sound confident about making a quick recovery, via Tom Moore of phillyburbs.com:

"I don't need a swollen knee," Bynum said. "I played in L.A. with a bit of swelling, but it wasn't this bad. I didn't feel any pain while I was playing, but now I feel really stiff. I played in one scrimmage and it's a four-to-five-day setback."

When asked if he feels like he has to play this year, Bynum had this to say: "No. I don't feel that, at all. I feel like it's my life. I'm 25 and I don't want to have no cartilage because that's bad." He remained candid with the media throughout the interview, and even admitted that he does not want to play through pain at the moment: "Yeah, that's true. I don't want to play in pain."

A few YouTube videos of the interview were also posted by Tom Moore of phillyburbs.com (see below), and here are some of the highlights from those segments of the talk.

Reporters asked whether he felt any pain in his left knee, which he hurt while bowling early this year, and here's what the young big man said:

"[The left knee] feels good. it's like if your right arm is hurting and somebody punches in the left one, you forget about the right one. So that's kinda where I'm at right now."

When asked if he's been doing any basketball activities since he played in a 5-on-5 scrimmage last Friday, Bynum responded: "Uh, not really. I've been just doing light rehab stuff just trying to get the swelling out."

He seemed to acknowledge that the 5-on-5 drill likely caused the swelling to return, and then he addressed whether he's concerned about this new development:

"I'm not really concerned, it's just more frustrating. It's like you do work and get to a point, and then you have to back down, so it's kinda tough."

The 25-year-old center put his chances to get back on the court at '100 percent' earlier this year, but he didn't sound as confident when asked again on Friday if it's still a '100 percent' proposition: "Well, it's getting late [in the season], so I really don't know."

Bynum will be a free agent this summer, and when asked about his long-term future in the NBA, he became a bit more optimistic:

"I think I'll be able to play in some form or fashion in the future. I think they are getting close with things they can do with articular cartilage. They just grew cartilage in a petri dish, so I think scientists are looking at it and doctors are looking at it, and this is a serious problem and they're going to come up with something."

So does it make sense to just shut it down for the season and rest? Andrew doesn't think so:

"Nah, because I need to stay in some type of shape. I work when I can and take days off when I can, so it's like you're not working three out of six days, working four out of seven days. So it keeps you at a point but you don't ever really get to rest."

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