By Ben Golliver
The Sixers, officially speaking, do not know when franchise center Andrew Bynum will play his first game for the team.
Sixers GM Tony DiLeo told reporters Saturday that Bynum, who has been dealing with bone bruises in both of his knees, is officially being listed as out "indefinitely" with no timetable for his return. Earlier this month, the Sixers issued a release stating that Bynum, acquired from the Lakers in a four-team blockbuster trade last summer, was expected to make his debut in mid-December.
PhillyBurbs.com reported a series of quotes from DiLeo.
"His knees are worse now. His condition is different.
"We don't know when Andrew will be back. Only Andrew can answer that question. ... It’s Andrew decision, basically, when he feels good and when he can get back on the court. ... We’re anticipating he’ll be back at some point. We hope he will be back."
Philly.com with more from DiLeo.
DiLeo said that the team knew Bynum "had some problems with his knees in the past."
"We want to focus on our team now and put this behind us," DiLeo added. "We're still looking big picture, long term."
Bynum's mid-December return date was immediately placed into question when he admitted to reporters last week that he had suffered a "setback" in his left knee while bowling. Bynum sat out training camp and the preseason because of trouble with his right knee.
Bynum told reporters earlier this month that he has suffered "weakened cartilage" in both knees that has produced swelling in both knees. Surgery has been ruled out so far.
In 2008, Bynum dislocated his left knee cap and eventually had arthroscopic surgery. In 2010, Bynum underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. This fall, Bynum underwent Orthokine treatments on both of his knees in Germany.
Sixers coach Doug Collins had made do without Bynum by turning to Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and Kwame Brown in the post, and giving heavy minutes to forward Thaddeus Young. Philadelphia is 7-5 entering Saturday's game against the Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center.
On Thursday, The Point Forward discussed how well the Sixers have gotten along without their All-Star center and whether that play can continue throughout the season. Bynum, 25, averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks for the Lakers last season. He is on the books for $16.9 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.