By BOB COONEY, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
Another update from Andrew Bynum before the 76ers-Clippers game, and another Q & A that produced some more head-scratching about the condition of his knees, particularly the left one that has been giving the 7-footer the most pain of late.
Bynum seemed optimistic about getting on the court Saturday and Sunday, with workouts as long as 2 hours. He said in those sessions he was able to do some defensive slides, dunk the ball, run up and down the court and perform post-up moves.
Then a bit later, he admitted that the pain was too severe in the left knee to allow any optimism or a time frame as to when he may be back.
“I started to do basketball work,” he said. “I think I worked out for 2 days on the court and then I had a lot of pain so we backed down a little bit [Monday]. Probably get on the Alter G [antigravity machine] tomorrow [Tuesday] and we’ll just progress as much as we can.
“I’m not sure [about debuting this month], it’s all going to depend on if we get a setback or not. Right now things are going well, I’m losing weight and I’m staying on the court as long as I can, so that’s good.”
And then came the bad.
“I’m not very optimistic,” Bynum said. “When I get on the court, that’s when I want to be ready. I’m trying as hard as I can. It would suck to play through pain, but sometimes you have to. Not actually [going through] contact. I went through some drills with teammates and stuff but no contact.”
Asked if this pain is worse than any he has played through before, Bynum said: “Definitely, I think it’s just not ready yet.”
As for the good coming out of the workouts, Bynum said that he is losing weight, down to about 305 now. He said he likes to play somewhere around 285 to 295.
For now, the saga continues.
Jason Richardson sat at his locker before Monday’s game wearing a comfortable sweat suit on his body and an uncomfortable look on his face. He is scheduled to have season-ending surgery on Thursday on his left knee, which has a hole the size of a quarter in the cartilage. Recovery time is expected to be between 9 months and a year.
Richardson, who has avoided serious injuries in his 12 seasons in the league, knows rehabbing will be arduous and, at 32, maybe career-threatening. But he will go at it with all the determination he can muster.
“I’m able to walk and stuff, it just gives out on me sometimes,” said Richardson, who averaged 10.5 points a game this season. “When you look at me walking it’s fine, but sometimes when I try to run . . . “
As for if, when, and all the other questions Richardson must have about returning, he is taking the don’t ask, don’t tell approach.
“We didn’t go on that, yet,” he said. “It’s just getting it done and attacking from there. I don’t want to hear something that I don’t want to hear. I just want to look at a guy like [Minnesota Viking running back Adrian] Peterson. I mean, he’s younger than me and it’s a different sport, but I think the way he approached his rehab is the reason he came back so successful. So that’s who I’m looking at.”
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro only coached current Sixer Nick Young for 33 games last season (including playoffs), but like Sixers coach Doug Collins, he developed a quick liking for the shooting guard.
“Nick did a very good job for us,” said Del Negro before Monday night’s game against the Sixers. “We knew he could score the basketball, he’s got good size for his position. He can get his shot off, he’s a one-on-one player. He really helped us win the Memphis [playoff] series, hitting some big threes for us that series.”
Young was traded to the Clips from Washington in the middle of last season and averaged 9.7 points in 22 regular-season games. In Los Angeles’ opening-round, seven-game win over the Grizzlies, Young scored in double figures three times and shot 10-for-19 from three-point range.
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