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"He’s like a groundhog: you see his shadow, you know spring is coming."
That’s Evan Turner demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of Groundhog Day when he spoke to WIP today about Andrew Bynum perhaps nearing a return.
Meanwhile… the Sixers announced that Bynum is in New York, undergoing previously scheduled Synvisc-One (joint lubricator) injections in his knees.
Chris Vito from the Delco Times has more:
A Sixers spokesman said the Synvisc injections were previously scheduled with Bynum's personal physician, Dr. David Altchek, and are not to be considered a setback.
Bynum will take the rest of the week off and will resume his basketball-related activities next week, presumably as soon as Sunday.
Monday, Sixers GM Tony DiLeo said it was possible that Bynum could participate in practice with the Sixers by Friday. That, clearly, is out of the question.
CSN’s John Finger notes that players usually get these injections when they are getting ready to go, as the lubricator functions as a pain reliever.
But I’m skeptical.
In October, Bynum had the same injections, which were supposedly scheduled and routine and not really anything to worry about really you guys no big deal he'll be back before you know it hey have you seen our center he hasn't played at all and was spotted with Rach Recklesssss at a strip club.
But they were something to worry about.
And did you notice that last line from Vito? DiLeo said on Monday it was possible that Bynum would return to practice by Friday… but if the knee injections were previously scheduled, wouldn’t it have been known that he would be sidelined through the weekend? Philly.com’s Marc Narducci says that Bynum talked about receiving injections “around the all-star break” months ago, so maybe it was the plan all along. But, I really don’t believe anything Bynum or the Sixers say about Bynum anymore.
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During the Eagles implosion yesterday, a report came out that Andrew Bynum would undergo another previously scheduled knee procedure, in addition to the odd, space agey one that he underwent in Germany last month. This one will inject fluid into Bynum’s knee that will act as a joint lubricator, according to a report by Dei Lynam, who also notes that while it is a common procedure, this is the first any of us are hearing about it.
The biggest concern with Bynum, only 24, is his knees. He is seven-feet tall and almost 300 pounds, and already has a history of knee troubles. Now we’re barely into the pre-season and there’s already three separate issues or incidents surrounding said joint(s).
The first was planned and expected– the Sixers knew that Bynum would undergo the same procedure Kobe Bryant has done last season, in Germany. But then Bynum showed up to camp with what he claimed was an unrelated knee issue, a bone bruise of sorts. Now knee injections, which we don’t know if they’re related to the two previous issues or not. Lynam’s source (likely someone very close to the team or part of the coaching staff) claims that the procedure was previously scheduled, though I’m not sure I buy that. Would the Sixers really have been that eager to trade for a guy with a history of knee problems, who was scheduled to have two separate, albeit minor knee procedures before the season started? That seems either incredibly stupid or not true.
Last week, Howard Eskin posited that Bynum’s knee troubles were more severe than the Sixers were letting on (looking good on that one) and that the Lakers gave the Sixers damaged goods. The last part will require a much larger sample size… but thus far the Andrew Bynum era is off to a lousy start.
THE ANDREW BYNUM ERA IS OFF TO RAUCOUS START! The future of the Sixers existence will sit out three weeks with knee trouble.
Oh, you mean because of that non-invasive Kobe-style procedure he had in Germany? Because that was expected.
No, apparently his knee is bothering him for unknown reasons. The team said he will miss the first three weeks of practice, but should be ready to resume basketball activities by Halloween.
Bynum told reporters that his knee felt “uncomfortable” and that he wasn’t “doing anything in particular” when he noticed soreness last week. He doesn’t believe it’s related to the procedure he had done in Germany last month.
ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that it's a bone bruise in Bynum's right knee, and I'm reporting that bone bruises don't just happen when you're not "doing anything in particular."
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders where Bynum was last weekend, when he was unable to make a scheduled trip to Citizens Bank Park with his teammates. The brotha in me loves his afro.
Yesterday, trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters that the Eagles would wait for Kelce’s torn MCL to heal before making a decision about his ACL, but… plans change, it seems.
The Eagles placed Kelce on injured reserved and added Steve Vallos to take his spot. Dallas Reynolds, who Marcus Hayes wrote a a beautiful sonnet about, will get a chance to start at center this weekend for the Birds.
Yes, that is the "undisclosed location" that media members were led to for the Chase Utley presser. If you're wondering, that is just behind left field at Bright House Field. As for the photo, it was taken by our undercover photographer Kyle Scott, who has gotten over the flu and made the trip to Clearwater.
So what did Chase Utley say? Here are some of the finer moments from the not-so-entertaining left field press conference.
-He will miss the start of the season and said the process will be "slow."
-He has chondromalacia and met with Brett Fischer, a therapist in Arizona.
-The left knee is hurting more than right knee, which is opposite from what was going on last year.
-"I'm not looking at any surgeries."
-"Unless someone's tells me there's a surgical option that's 100 percent (recovery), I'm not into that."
-"It's not bad enough to have micro fracture surgery and it's not bad enough to end my career."
-"I truly believe I can get past this and contribute. But it's going to take a little time."
So, there you have it. Your second baseman is not hanging up the cleats, and will try to get back on the field soon. Chase may be optimistic, but I don't think the rest of us are.
There has been quite a bit of discussion on the Phillies injury situation. Ryan Howard continues to recover from the Achilles surgery, and Chase Utley still has not played this spring because of the troublesome knee.
We wrote about whether or not it was time to freak about Utley, and the truth is that Chase will never have the lower body strength required to be the power hitter he once was.
As far as Howard is concerned, the achilles injury is difficult to bounce back from. Just ask Elton Brand.
Most Phillies fans would agree that Jimmy Rollins is the leader of this team. Speaking with Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the leader was not optimistic about Howard's injury…. at all.
"I don't know what to think, honestly," Rollins says. "If you ask me, with this infection, I don't know if he's going to play this year, because after all the work that he's done, now he's got to hit the reset button."
"I mean, the leg is naturally going to atrophy if it's in a boot all this time and you're not getting the full use out of it," Rollins says. "So he's built up strength, but it's not like he was 100 percent [before]. Now he needs to take a step back, and he's probably back down to the 25 to 40 percent range. …
"And it's a tough injury," Rollins goes on. "It's not like he's 150 pounds. He's a big man. And that's a very important part of his game, being able to be on his legs. He doesn't use his legs for speed like me. He uses his legs for power. So if he doesn't have any [strength in his] legs, all that power just goes away."
Stark points out in his column that the Phillies disagree with this take on the situation, but what does that mean to us? Nothing. I think I'll use common sense mixed in with Rollins' take and conclude Howard won't be back as quick as the Phillies are telling us.
Photo courtesy St. Pete Beach Photo
Today? Perhaps tomorrow? On May 5 when Chase hasn’t had a Major League at-bat yet?
“[The knee] feels significantly better. The goal for me is to stay in one place and improve in small increments and not try to irritate it to the point where I have to slow down.”
“We talked about the transition going into spring training. The first few weeks are going to be a little slower than normal. You guys might not see me on the field on a daily basis, so don’t freak out if that happens. The whole goal is to move in a positive direction.”
Positive direction– got it.
That is why today’s update from Ruben Amaro further perplexes me about the supposedly healthyish Utley, who is most likely going to battle chronic patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia in his right knee for the rest of his career.
Amaro told beat reporters – most of whom passed along the GM's message about a player who, last year, had his “body soreness” turn into two months on the disabled list and a career-changing knee injury with little skepticism – that the Phillies have been “keeping [Utley] off his feet.”
Philly.com’s Matt Gelb and Delco Times reporter Ryan Lawrence add some color to that most cryptic of statements.
“Utley has also been elusive during workouts. He has taken regular batting practice with his teammates but rarely completed infield work. Amaro expects Utley, who is attempting to manage a chronically injured right knee, to play at some point this spring.”
Lawrence: [Delco Times]
“But it is notable that Utley's workload has seemed to decrease since camp started. He's rarely seen taking ground balls with the rest of the team during pregame batting practice.”
The fact that Utley is taking batting practice more than fielding practice isn’t surprising. His issue is irritated by flexing his knee, a movement that is less present when batting as opposed to fielding. So that makes sense. But why, then, has Chase Utley not had one at-bat during spring training? And why is there still no real timetable for his return?
Yes, Manuel, Amaro and Utley all said that Chase wouldn’t see much time at the beginning of spring training. Utley said not to “freak out.”
Got that, too.
But maybe we should freak out.