There are actually people out there who sincerely believe that Andrew Bynum will be out for the season. While a bit overblown, it’s easy to understand where their concern comes from. A player with historically bad knees getting a strange German procedure and taking a surprise 3-week vacation to recover only to have yet another knee injection story hit the media sounds like a guaranteed disaster. Ryan Howard, Jason Peters, Chase Utley, Every Big Man The Sixers Have Ever Signed In Free Agency — I get it. But there’s really no need to be this fretful, Philadelphia. If the Sixers’ plan is to cover-up their new star player’s knee injury so they can sell season ticket packages only to disappoint an already nonexistent fanbase later, they will prove themselves to be among the dumbest organizations in sports.
And I don’t believe they are one of the dumbest organizations in sports — I think they’re one of the smartest. So, for your gloomy pleasure, I present The Facts About Andrew Bynum’s Knee:
This latest injection is nothing new.
Andrew Bynum is having a joint lubricant called Synvisc injected into his knee to make sure everything moves as it should. Ordinarily I’d be right there with everyone else sounding the alarms considering the aforementioned red flag, but the guy had the same exact thing done in the middle of last season and still managed to play in the All-Star game two days later.
The German surgery was a success.
Firstly, all reports from everyone close to Andrew said the surgery was a success.
Then, consider these second-hand quotes from one centaur-loving, hard body woman-loving, playoff non-hitter on Kobe’s reaction to his similar plasma surgery:
Bryant hasn’t commented publicly on the treatment, but A-Rod has described the feelings of his friend. Bryant “was really adamant about how great the procedure was for him,” Rodriguez told reporters.”I know that he was hurting before, almost even thinking about retirement, that’s how much pain he was under. And then he said after he went to Germany he felt like a 27-year-old again. I was still a little apprehensive about it and he kept staying on me about it.”
Sitting out the preseason is no big deal.
The Sixers contend he’s sitting because of a bone bruise. If it’s true then there’s nothing to worry about, and if it’s not true and it’s indeed connected to Bynum’s foreign procedure then there still isn’t anything to worry about.
Kobe Bryant got his German plasma work done in October 2011, and while details on his treatment are more fuzzy than Bynum’s, Kobe was well enough to play minutes in the preseason and to drop 27 in 37 minutes in an October 26th win over the Raptors. Andrew Bynum’s rest period may seem suspicious in comparison (why sit him for 3 weeks?), but let’s all remember something: Andrew Bynum is 7 feet 290lbs.
The recovery times for these biological treatments are said to be measured in days instead of the months of more invasive surgeries, but the Sixers giving AB the preseason off to recover and rest before a grueling 82-game season seems much more likely than them withholding some huge Andrew Bynum knee disaster story just to let it blow up in their faces when the season starts.
Is there a possibility that we traded our best defender for LA’s damaged goods? Sure. As Kevin Garnett once said anything is possible. But objectively this smells of a team simply being overcautious with a future investment and nothing more. Don’t let Philly fanhood fool you.