Andrew Bynum is back on the shelf with knee pain just two games into his Pacers career.
Indiana announced Friday that the 26-year-old center will be out indefinitely with "continued soreness and swelling" in his right knee and that he will continue to undergo treatment.
Bynum signed with the Pacers on Feb. 1 after the Bulls released him following a trade with the Cavaliers. He did not debut until March 11, when he posted eight points and 10 rebounds in 16 minutes in a victory over the Celtics. After resting in Indiana's next game, Bynum took the court again on March 15, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 20 minutes against the Pistons. He did not play in Indiana's two most recent games because of swelling in his knee while also undergoing an MRI.
Coach Frank Vogel will continue to start All-Star Roy Hibbert while using Ian Mahinmi in a reserve role, as the Pacers (50-18) enter Friday's action with a three-game lead over the Heat (46-20) in the race for the East's No. 1 seed.
This latest setback continues years worth of bad health news when it comes to Bynum, who missed the Sixers' entire 2012-13 season due to ongoing issues with his knees.
In 2008, Bynum dislocated his left knee cap and eventually underwent arthroscopic surgery. In 2010, Bynum underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.
In 2012, Bynum underwent Orthokine treatments on both of his knees in Germany before sitting out the preseason because of a bone bruise in his right knee. He then told reporters in November 2012 that he had cartilage damage in his left knee, and later admitted that the “setback” happened while he was bowling. The Sixers had initially hoped he would return that December but eventually opted to list him as out indefinitely with bone bruises in both of his knees following that setback.
In January 2013, Bynum was cleared to run and spoke about a return to the court after the All-Star Break, but he eventually underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees in mid-March after never making it back to the court.
Bynum then signed with the Cavaliers in July 2013. By November, Bynum was telling reporters that he had given “serious thought” to retirement because of his ongoing knee issues, which he called “career-threatening.” He was then suspended by the Cavaliers in December for "conduct detrimental to the team" and then was traded to the Bulls shortly thereafter.
The 2005 lottery pick averaged 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20 minutes per game over 24 appearances for the Cavaliers, but his situation in Cleveland clearly did not develop as hoped, with Bynum struggling to keep up with the pace of the game and offering inconsistent production
Bynum, a 2012 All-Star starter, averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Lakers in 2011-12, but he seemed to be having issues coping with the injuries and the mental transition to becoming a lesser player with the Cavaliers. Signing with the Pacers offered Bynum a chance to play for a contender without major individual expectations or a huge minutes burden.
The Pacers are technically Bynum’s fifth team since April 2012, although he never suited up for Philadelphia or Chicago. He will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.