Bynum told CSNPhilly.com's John Finger, "I still haven’t done slides yet, but I dunked yesterday. That’s good. I can still do that."
As silly as it seems to celebrate a single little dunk, for a guy who hasn't been anywhere near NBA action since the playoffs last season, it's a big step in the right direction.
It's been a lot of baby steps for Bynum since it was revealed that pain in his knee was more than just a slight injury.
He underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy surgery (the one that Kobe Bryant made famous) to help prevent the wearing down of knee cartilage. It seemed to have had a positive impact on guys like Bryant and Grant Hill.
There have been few signs of improvement throughout the season for Bynum. Just a lessening of pain and a bit more maneuverability. A constantly moving return date had Philly fans pessimistic about ever seeing Bynum suit up.
When Bynum told reporters that he's been able to dunk relatively pain free, he set his sights for a return sometime after the All-Star break.
But things have changed:
League source: Bynum could be back before All-Star break.— john mitchell (@JmitchInquirer) January 27, 2013
With Bynum on the verge of returning, it seems as if the 76ers suddenly have a shot at making the playoffs, especially considering the recent developments at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The Boston Celtics lost Rajon Rondo for the season to a torn ACL, and the odds are looking like they could blow up the team with any sign of weakness. Philadelphia is currently only three games back of the No. 8 seed.
It's all going to depend upon how well Bynum plays once he returns, and if he's actually healthy enough to stay in the game and make a positive impact.
Philadelphia is in a position to make a run, but it needs Bynum's return to be positive and permanent.