Andrew Bynum plans on making his season debut for the Philadelphia 76ers this year, though he’s still a week or two away from practicing with the team. The 7-foot center has been sidelined by knee injuries since the Sixers acquired him from the Los Angeles Lakers last summer. He worked out for 80 minutes on Tuesday and said afterward his knees are feeling better, but he doesn’t expect to ever be pain-free.
“I’ll definitely be back sometime this year,” Bynum said. “I’m focused on getting back and being right versus trying to rush.”
Bynum’s timetable for a return has been pushed back numerous times since training camp opened with him off the court. He says he won’t rush his return just to help Philadelphia make a playoff push or to improve his status in free agency.
Hinrich misses game
Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says guard Kirk Hinrich missed Friday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats with a lingering right elbow injury. Hinrich has missed nine of the team’s last 10 games.
Brooklyn guard sits out
Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson sat out for the first time this season Friday against Houston because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo says the pain was bothering Johnson after Wednesday’s victory over Milwaukee, when he managed only eight points. The night before, Johnson had made the game-winning jumper to beat the Bucks.
Kirilenko to take break
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko is taking time off from the Russian national team for family reasons, according to media reports in Russia. Kirilenko, 32, told the daily Sport-Express that he had informed the Russian basketball federation by phone.