We recently took a closer look at the ongoing recovery of Derrick Rose, who seems to be on track to make his triumphant return from a torn ACL shortly after the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in mid-February. This time, we'll take up our stethoscopes to examine another franchise-caliber talent dealing with knee troubles—Andrew Bynum.
The All-Star center has yet to play a single minute as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers since arriving in the City of Brotherly Love as part of the four-team trade that landed Dwight Howard with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bynum finally managed to play nearly a complete slate in 2011-12, albeit one truncated by the lockout.
But Bynum's chronic knee problems cropped again at practically the same moment he was introduced as the future of the Sixers. Since then, Bynum's timetable has been drawn, re-drawn and erased altogether amidst damage to his tender joints.
Some of which was done during his (ill-advised) outings to the bowling alley.
Meanwhile, Philly has fallen on hard times in Bynum's absence. The Sixers have lost 17 of their 23 games since the start of December, when they were a season-high four games above the .500 mark. At 16-23, the Sixers sit four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, despite an All-Star-caliber campaign from point guard Jrue Holiday.
Clearly, Philly could use a Bynum-related boost. But where is he now in his recovery? When will the big man be back? What steps must he take between now and then to guarantee his Sixers debut? And what will 'Drew's hair look like when that day comes?
Let's take a closer look, with help from famed sports performance manager Mackie Shilstone.