Andrew Bynum, the centerpiece of Philadelphia’s present and future, will be out indefinitely due to continued problems with his knees, the Philadelphia 76ers said on Saturday.
The 25-year-old has bone bruises in both knees and a “weakened cartilage state”, according to doctors and is yet to play for Philadelphia after being part of a four team, 12-player trade that moved him from the Los Angeles Lakers in August.
“Bottom line is Andrew is out indefinitely,” 76ers general manager Tony DiLeo told Reuters. “There are no timelines. We just have to wait and see how he reacts.”
DiLeo said Bynum’s knees have deteriorated since arriving in Philadelphia. “His knees now and the MRIs are not the same; it’s a different type (of) situation,” DiLeo said.
Bynum, who had non-invasive knee surgery in Germany during the offseason, has yet to suit up for the Sixers this season. He is in the final year of a $16.5 million contract. Understandably, the Sixers have been reluctant to give him a contract extension given his history of knee problems.
“At the time of the trade, we had four doctors look at his MRI. We knew it was a calculated risk,” DiLeo said. “We also knew we were getting the second-best center in the league, a franchise-type player. We took that risk.”
Bynum has been told to avoid all activities that involve stress on the knees. He is doing low-impact rehabilitation and the team is hoping that rest will heal the cartilage while they consult experts around the world.
“We hope he will back. We’re anticipating he will be back at some point,” DiLeo said.
“We have plans for the future if he is not back with us but we want to plan on him being here long-term.”
DiLeo said Bynum would have further scans in December. Bynum appeared in 60 games last season with the Lakers, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.