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Andrew Bynum Practices with Teammates

Andrew Bynum finally practiced with his Sixers teammates. (AP Photo H. Rumph Jr)

Andrew Bynum finally went through a practice, participating in a five-on-five scrimmage with 76ers teammates on Friday, sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer and coach Doug Collins comfirmed before the Sixers – Heat game on Saturday night.

“Bynum looked like a guy who hadn’t played in nine months,” coach Doug Collins told reporters.

Bynum did some contact in 5-on-5 work so now the key will be seeing how his knees respond to the increased stress.

‘We went 5-on-0 and then Bynum asked if he minded if he went out and played,” Collins said.  ”And I said sure, see how you feel.”

While this is somewhat encouraging news, coach Collins stressed that getting Bynum back anytime soon shouldn’t be expected.

“There shouldn’t be bells and whistles sent out that he is anywhere close to playing,” Collins stated.  ”He (Bynum) says he is going to play, but this season is slipping away, we have 24 games after Sunday.”

Just having Bynum out on the floor would be such a lift for this lifeless Sixers bunch that is currently eight games under .500 and still has to face the top seeded Miami Heat four more times.

“Its amazing just him (Bynum) standing out there distorted the whole practice,” Collins explained.  ”You get visions of what might have been.”

However if you still are holding out hope that Bynum can come back and help this team in 2013, this is probably the biggest news we’ve heard in a long time, especially after he told reporters it would be another week at least before he could join his teammates in practice.

Sixers GM Tony DiLeo recently stated that re-signing Bynum remains “Plan A” for the Sixers, but that the team’s cap flexibility allows for “Plan B”s as well.

Getting him on the floor certainly makes plan A much more of a viable option for the team, but if he doesn’t play it still doesn’t rule of the possibility of bringing him back.  While cap flexibility is nice to have there is no player available on the free agent market that can do the things Bynum can do when he is healthy enough to play.

As always with Bynum, stay tuned…

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