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Howard’s back vs. Bynum’s knees. Kupchak calls it a toss up.

Oct 17, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

Which is the bigger risk:

Andrew Bynum’s chronic knee problems or Dwight Howard’s back coming off surgery?

Bynum has had knee issues throughout his career and while he played in the 2010 finals and 60 (of 66) games last season, he has had to take the summer off to recuperate and has yet to start practicing with the Sixers (and got another injection Monday). Howard has been ironman healthy over the course of his career but had back surgery after the season that he is still recovering from fully, and backs can be tricky things.

The Lakers GM Mitch Kupchack had that choice and said injury wise it was a toss up when speaking with Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLA.com Tuesday.

“Whatever concern we had (with Bynum’s knees) was offset by Dwight coming off offseason back surgery,” Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Tuesday. “Our doctors were able to look at (Howard’s medical records) but not until after the trade, which was conditional on him passing a physical.”

The biggest question for the Lakers is if the back surgery slowed Howard’s mobility — maybe his greatest strength at both ends of the floor is how quickly he moves for a man his size. Reports out of practice are that Howard has looked like his old self, but he has yet to play in a game.

Bynum is expected to return to practice Oct. 24, one week before the Sixers open the season.

  1. skids003 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    More like two head cases, which one will implode first?

  2. dmaq1 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    their injuries are irrelevant.

    Bynum is gone because of a lack of effort… he only plays when he wants to and it doesn’t matter how good he is, because with an attitude like that, his ceiling will only be so high.

    Dwight’s attitude seems to be a bit better. He may disagree with the front office but he gives you a valiant effort every night… unlike Bynum

    • dls612 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      I don’t think this is the proper comment for this article!

      • dls612 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Injuries are always relevant! Both injuries can and have made players retire.

    • tcclark - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Bynum’s gone because of a lack of effort? The man flew to Germany to get a knee procedure to PREVENT further injury. He wasn’t hurt. he got the procedure done, in an EFFORT to avoid further injury because he realizes his knees are a risk. He also sits at every practice watching what he’s supposed to be doing, telling reporters every day that he wishes he was out there. He even told them about the importance of practice – a far cry from a former Sixers star. Bynum’s been excited and energized about the season since he was traded. He’s the man now. this is his team and he sits through every practice watching Kwame Brown pretend to be him.

      No, he is gone because the Sixers told him to sit. They care about their investment and don’t want to see him get hurt over meaningless games. Not to mention the kind of PR boost they are going to get for the season opener. Since he’s been here, Bynum has been a model star player. He talks to his coach regularly, he has a dvd of the offense, and he’s done everything he can to make sure he is healthy for the entire season. That shows a whole hell of a lot of effort.

      • tsi431 - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Bynum will say and do whatever the 76ers want, because he wants that 5 year max contract, end of story.

  3. dls612 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Bynum might be the biggest risk, Howard is a huge mutha and he may very well make a full recovery

  4. tcclark - Oct 17, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Really Kurt? Again with this? Bynum is fine. He has stated that if this were the regular season that he would be able to go, but the Sixers don’t want him wasting the effect of his knee treatment on meaningless games. he wasn’t hurt in the offseason, so he didn’t need to take the summer to recuperate. He’s had to rest since getting his preventative knee treatment in order to maximize the potential effect of it. The effects won’t last all season so he needs to rest it so that he’s not wasting weeks of great knees on meaningless preseason games. The injection he got on Monday had nothing to do with his procedure, the bone bruise, or really anything else. He’s getting an injection of Synvisc-One which just lubricates the knee. He’s gotten them in the past and since it only lasts for 6 months, he’ll get another one at the All-Star break. Here’s a quote from his agent:

    “He’s had them in previous years,” Lee said. “Look at it as WD-40, for lack of a better way of explaining it. He gets them at the start of the season, and he gets them at the all-star break. It’s noninvasive and has nothing to do with the treatment he received in Germany.”

    Bynum’s knees are fine. plasma treatment he received in Germany helps stimulate healing in the arthritic portion of his knees, which he had all of last year where he played 60 of the 66 games. He is sitting so that his knee gets a chance to actually do that before he starts adding to the wear and tear. Howard is actually injured. Bynum is not. He’s fine. He’s just attempting to get even healthier.

    • tsi431 - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      If you need the same plasma treatment that old man Kobe and old man A-Rod need to have, at there advanced ages, you are not right.

      Howard is injured, yet is participating in 5 on 5 drills. While “healthy” Bynum is sitting in stands with reporters and fans cheering on his team.

      • tcclark - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        you really don’t understand this. He is sitting to MAXIMIZE the effect of his treatment. This treatment is meant to stimulate healing in his knees. The healing process will not work as well if you are constantly adding more wear and tear to it. Let’s say Bynum’s knee is a hole in a piece of fabric and the more he runs on it the bigger the hole gets. Now the plasma treatment is trying to sow the hole up and fix it, so his options are to sit and rest and allow the plasma treatment to sow the hole up, or play on it and force the plasma treatment to try and sow a hole up that is continually getting ripped open. by playing right now in meaningless games, he would only negate the treatment he received. Are you following? If Howard can play with his injury without re-injuring it then power to him, but frankly, Bynum doesn’t need to be participating in 5-on-5 drills. At least not at the risk of negating the treatment he flew to Germany for.

    • bougin89 - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      If you don’t think Bynum’s knees are a red flag then you do not know his injury history or the full extent of his current treatment. Bynum is at a point that his knees will never be 100%. Although that doesn’t mean he won’t be a very good player, his knees are definitely a red flag if you are a team looking to offer him a max contract after this season.

      • tcclark - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        The man has arthritis in his knees. Of course they’re a red flag. But Kurt has posted at least a half dozen stories about Bynum’s knees when he didn’t even hurt anything. He was healthy all of last year and has been getting treatment on his knees to get them as close to 100% as he can get them. This is an article comparing Howard’s injury to Bynum’s injury with Howard being the only one that was injured.

      • cosanostra71 - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:31 AM

        A 24 year old having arthritis in his knees is a story. Not sure if you’re aware, but that isn’t necessarily “common”

      • badintent - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:07 AM

        OK, children , LISTEN THE HELL UP !! I’m 57 and can still slam the rim.( ONLY 6’4″) I take VIMOVO, A NEW ARTHRITIS MEDICATION that has a stomach buffer so it can be taken often IF needed. ! Bynum is on the same stuff or another version of it. Enough of the ” The Doctors” TV show already. What’s your next question ?? Is Kurt really a vampire ?

    • bougin89 - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Bynum was actually injured from the surgery. He has a bone bruise from the surgery he had. He isn’t healthy right now.

      • tcclark - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:28 PM

        yes he has a bone bruise, but it isn’t very serious. He has said that he’d be playing right now if the games were regular season.

  5. mahhelo - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    He had 4 rebounds in a playoff elimination game last year. Four!!! In an elimination game as a starting center. He is rehabbing for the max contract coming his way. Once he has that in his pocket, game over. He is simply not motivated by anything other than money. That’s not a knock against him, that’s just the way he is.

  6. echech88 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    That’s not true.

    Bynum was extremely frustrating to watch every night but it was because 60% of the time he looked like a hall of famer and the other 40% looked like he didn’t want to be there.

    It’s maturity and understanding what it means to be a professional and go to work every day. He’ll probably get it eventually but he was drafted as a 17 year old…he’s exactly the type of guy who would have benefited from college on a personal level.

    • echech88 - Oct 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Hmm my bad, this was supposed to be in reply to the post above it.

    • dmaq1 - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      yes.

    • badintent - Oct 18, 2012 at 1:11 AM

      no, it’s not maturity and understanding, it playing with the biggest ball hog of all time, a dude that should have 6 or 7 rings but would rather jack 30 shots against double teams to show MJ that he can, could and would be a legend in his own mind. I present to you Kobe, the $5 million dollar (rock ice ring ) man. Take a bow Kobe and don’t let your ass hit Shaq in the face. We might get another rap Disel rap song.

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