Sixers center Andrew Bynum took the final step in his prolonged rehab toward playing in game action this season, participating in a full 5-on-5 scrimmage for the first time on Friday, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer's John N. Mitchell.
The news comes four days after Bynum told reporters that he would begin practicing in one or two weeks. The 7-footer, who is recovering from bone bruises and weakened cartilage in both knees, could resume practicing "soon," a source told Mitchell, depending on how his knees react.
Before Friday, Bynum's most rigorous workouts had been performed exclusively with team coaches and medical personnel.
He has yet to play in a game this season, and his timetable for a return has been pushed back or ruled "indefinite" numerous times. The Sixers -- who have dropped to 22-30, 3.5 games back of the No. 8 seed, during their three-game losing streak -- have 30 games remaining, including Saturday's matchup with the Miami Heat.
Bynum has been seen working out on the elliptical machine and the team's antigravity machine, a mechanism that allows the player to get extensive cardiovascular work without putting too much strain on the joints or ligaments. However, reporters have yet to see Bynum scrimmaging with teammates.