The 76ers paid over $16 million (and dealt a lot of players) to have Andrew Bynum on their team this season. We know that hasn’t turned out very well as he’s been sidelined with knee injures basically since being acquired in August.
To try and quicken his return, the organization invested in a state-of-the-art anti-gravity treadmill that will alleviate up to 80 percent of the person’s body weight. The estimated cost of that piece of equipment has been guessed to be close to $60,000. Now as Bynum is working towards a return that he predicts could come around the All-Star break (mid-February), the new machine is breaking down.
Someone in the Sixers’ financial offices can’t be happy. But a return of Bynum will certainly make everyone in the organization a little more joyful, and the mammoth center said before Monday’s Sixers-San Antonio game that he thinks he’s still on target for that mid-February debut.
“It’s going pretty good. I shot around at shootaround (Monday morning) with the guys so I’m getting a bit better on the court. If the treadmill would stop breaking down I would be able to do a little bit more, but I’m going well. It’s like every 3 days or so it needs service, so I don’t know. I’ve been involved a little bit in practice just shooting around with the guys and stuff like that. My knees feel good and I’m not feeling any pain so this is all good and I just want to keep it going.” The on-court work is still in the infancy stage, with some light jogging, some careful low-post moves and shooting from all over the court. The big steps are yet to come, and it shouldn’t be too long before Bynum enters that part of the rehab.
“I still haven’t done any lateral movement. That’s going to be my biggest test. Cutting is the last thing to do and I think building up to that is necessary. If the target is the All-Star break then (lateral movement) should come in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to be doing defensive slides, cutting, running full speed and stopping, backpedaling, jumping - just explosive stuff.”