|Andrew Bynum is having 'the Kobe treatment' on his knee. (Getty Images)|
Andrew Bynum has an injury history, to put it lightly. He suffered multiple severe knee injuries and multiple surgeries, before having a fully healthy 2011-2012 campaign and establishing himself as the player he was hyped as for years. That injury factor lead in part to the Lakers' decision to upgrade him with Dwight Howard, and it was a precautionary note for the Sixers when they acquired him last week.
Now the Philadelphia Inquirer reports he's having some light surgical work done on the knee. But not until September. From the Inquirer:
Source: Bynum to undergo precautionary non-invasive knee procedure early in Sept. in Germany.— john mitchell (@JmitchInquirer) August 13, 2012
OK, it's just non-invasive. And precautionary.
But it's just not how you want the Bynum era to start in Philadelphia.
The good news is about the context of the surgery. You may have noticed that word "German" and the name "Kobe Bryant' may have popped into your head. The Inquirer indeed notes it's the same procedure.
The procedure, known as Orthokine/Regenokine, will be performed by Dr. Peter Wehling. Bryant initially underwent the procedure to prevent the inevitable wearing down of his knee cartilage. The procedure is a derivation of platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP. The procedure, which is not yet performed in the United States, is less invasive than many, if not all, other forms of knee surgeries presently used.
According to the source, Bynum is not feeling any pain in his knees. However, the center wants to explore any options that will help to prolong the healthy status of his knees. According to the source, Bynum was so impressed with the results that Bryant experienced last season that he agreed that exploring the procedure was a viable option.
There's also a secondary issue. Why isn't the surgery coming sooner? It's likely simply the soonest it could be scheduled. But having it in September could complicate the start of his season. The process involves platelets and a treatment, then centrifuge, and a re-injection to the knee.
Bryant credited the procedure with his rejuvenation and uptick in production as well as his minutes load (though his shooting percentages dipped). Alex Rodriguez and other athletes have opted for the surgery, and Bryant clearly sold Bynum on it.
If it helps Bynum long-term and has no complications (there have been no reports of athletes being affected by such issues yet), then it's a win-win. But it's going to be a tight squeeze for Bynum to be ready for training camp with his new teammates.