Jason Wolf, writing in two different publications – the Courier Post and Wilmington News Journal – brings us our first two nuggets.
1) An “internationally respected orthopedic surgeon, who is not involved with Bynum’s treatment and has not seen his MRIs” told Wolf that Bynum may have osteochondritis dessicans lesions (got that?), which would most likely require surgery: [Wilmington News Journal]
One internationally respected orthopedic surgeon, who is not involved with Bynum’s treatment and has not seen his MRIs, told The News Journal that all of the information that has been released by the player and the Sixers points to a likely diagnosis of osteochondritis dessicans lesions. The surgeon said that if this is the case, there’s a small chance that Bynum’s knees could heal sufficiently on their own in time for him to return for the playoffs this season, but called that scenario “wishing on a star.”
Apparently, it makes no difference who you are.
That’s fine. Troubling, really. But I’m not a fan of these doctor says-style reports. Basing a diagnosis of Bynum’s knee troubles on information released by Bynum and the team, which runs the gamut from bone bruise to weakened cartilage, is risky at best and reckless at worst. That said, it would shock no one if he needed season-ending surgery. And the cone of silence surrounding his injury is getting louder (is that possible?), as evidenced by number two:
No, not him
2) Today, Wolf wrote that Bynum’s doctor, David Altchek, has been advised by Bynum’s agent not to speak about his patient's injury: [Courier Post]
Dr. David W. Altchek of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, Bynum’s longtime personal orthopedist, said late Tuesday night that agent David Lee does not want him discussing his client’s knees with reporters.
Earlier in the day, Altchek agreed to speak with The Courier-Post about specifics regarding the injured All-Star center’s “mystery” knee condition, pending approval from the team. Sixers officials waited until shortly before tipoff of their 106-98 victory over the Raptors Tuesday night before indicating that only Lee could approve such a request.
This is hardly surprising. I can’t remember the last time a player's doctor was allowed to speak about a vague injury (it's also illegal without consent). Of course, if Bynum really is injured seriously, then it’s in his best interest to keep it quiet up to the point that he can’t anymore (surgery). Bynum is a free agent at the end of the year and he stands to get the biggest contract of his life. There’s no need to further spook potential employers.
3) There other side of this coin – the one that should really piss you off – is that perhaps Bynum isn’t hurt as badly as we think. Maybe he just has a nagging injury that he wants to baby for as long as possible, so that he doesn’t hurt his market value (because really, it only matters how healthy he is at the end of the season). Yesterday, CBS Philly’s Spike Eskin spoke to SLAM Magazine editor Tzvy Twersky, who cited a former teammates of Bynum’s:
“I started investigating [the bowling] a little bit,” Twersky said. “And one of the people that I hit, a guy who has played with him before, he texted me back and said ‘I don’t know if that’s true [the bowling], but I do know that I’ve never met another player in the league who likes basketball less [than Bynum].”
Yeah, that’s good. Just three more (rather speculative) reasons why many were worried about the Bynum era.