Andrew Bynum Now Likely Out Until January

So, the Andrew Bynum era in Philadelphia isn't exactly off to the best start. The 76ers' center, who arrived in Philly as the prized bounty of the Dwight Howard trade, has yet to play a game this season due to a bone bruise of his knee. Today, the 76ers released an update on Bynum's status, and things aren't looking good:

It was initially communicated to the Sixers that Bynum should refrain from basketball activity for a period of four weeks to allow the knee to heal. His knee was re-evaluated on October 22 by Dr. Altchek, who extended by an additional four weeks to November 19 the time for Andrew to refrain from basketball activity.

Andrew received a fresh MRI and was seen again by Dr. Altchek this past week on Monday, November 5.

At that evaluation, Dr. Altcheck extended Andrew's return date for a second time by an additional three weeks. However, in what the Sixers believe is an optimistic sign, Dr. Altchek also indicated that Andrew could immediately resume low impact exercise. Low impact exercise for a period of two weeks is to be followed by three weeks of conditioning on an anti-gravity treadmill. The doctors and the team will be closely watching how Bynum's knee responds during this five week regimen. Upon successful completion, Bynum is expected to be able to resume normal basketball activity.

If the current prognosis holds unchanged, Bynum would be cleared to resume normal basketball activity by approximately December 10. In addition, the team estimates that Bynum in turn will need an additional 1-4 weeks thereafter for conditioning, training and practice before being able to resume game play with significant minutes.

One would think that a bone bruise shouldn't be taking this long to heal, and the fact that Bynum has now twice had his return date pushed back is worrisome, as is the fact that Bynum isn't known for making it through a full season unscathed. On the bright side, this gives us all more time to play Is Andrew Bynum In Costume Or Not?