All-Star Andrew Bynum, the centerpiece in the Philadelphia 76ers’ end of the Dwight Howard trade, will not take the court for three weeks as a precaution for his surgically repaired right knee.
Last month, Bynum went to Germany to undergo a non-invasive strengthening procedure on his right knee known as Orthokine/Regenokine. The procedure – not performed in the United States – takes a person’s blood and spins it until it is rich in healing platelets. The blood is then re-injected into the troublesome area.
Bynum is the latest athlete to undergo the procedure. Others include former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, fellow NBA star Grant Hill and baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez.
The 7-foot Bynum – considered the second-best center in the NBA behind Howard – had surgery on his right knee after the Lakers won the 2010 championship. He also dislocated his left kneecap in the 2007-08 campaign.
According to a release from the 76ers, the three weeks of rest are to maximize effects of the procedure. Bynum will still participate in low-impact conditioning.
Bynum is at the Sixers’ media day and will speak to the media this afternoon. Sheridan Hoops is staffing the media day.
Philadelphia’s final preseason game is Oct. 22, exactly three weeks away. The Sixers play their regular-season opener Oct. 31 vs. Denver.
Bynum, 24, averaged career highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Lakers last season, his seventh in the NBA and first as an All-Star. He has missed at least 17 games in each season except the 2006-07 campaign, when he appeared in all 82 games, and last season, when he missed just two games due to injury.
In the four-team deal this summer that sent Howard from the Orlando Magic to the Lakers, the Sixers dealt All-Star swingman Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets and youngsters Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless and a future first-round pick to the Magic, landing Bynum from the Lakers and Jason Richardson from the Magic.
Bynum is entering the final year of his contract and can become a free agent this summer. His agent, David Lee, has indicated that his client will not sign a three-year, $60 million contract extension, preferring to wait for free agency, where he could command a five-year, $100 million deal.
However, Bynum’s introductory news conference in Philadelphia was open to the public, and he was greeted with raucous ovations. He has said that he likes what he has seen of the city, which is close to his childhood home in New Jersey.
The acquisition of Bynum totally changed the look of the Sixers, who reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last season with a smallish, athletic club missing a dominant low-post player.
Coach Doug Collins plans to play Bynum alongside 7-footer Spencer Hawes, who will slide to power forward. Philadelphia also drafted power forward Arnett Moultrie, re-signed center Lavoy Allen and signed forward-center Kwame Brown as a free agent.
The Sixers also added Richardson and fellow wing players Nick Young and Dorell Wright in hope that the presence of Bynum in the post would create open shots on the perimeter.