- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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But with Monday's news out of Philadelphia that Bynum received another injection of Synvisc -- a gel-like substance that sometimes provides relief for inflamed tissue -- in his knee, it raises a larger question:
Whose problems would you rather be saddled with: Bynum's chronically painful, injured knees or Howard's still-unproven back?
It was a question Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak had to answer over the summer before he made the trade that sent Bynum to Philadelphia in a four-team deal that brought Howard to Los Angeles from Orlando.
"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."
Howard has been cleared to participate in full-contact scrimmages but has yet to play in any of the Lakers' first four exhibition games.
Bynum was able to participate in 60 of the Lakers' 66 games last season, but he took the entire summer to rest and recuperate from the increased workload, skipping the Olympics in the process.
You'd think after a summer off, he'd be ready to go at the start of training camp. But he has yet to participate in training camp with his new team as he continues to recover from a cutting-edge treatment on his knee he received in Germany, and a bone bruise on his knee.
As 76ers CEO Adam Aron tweeted: "If all goes to plan, he's back Oct 24. But we won't know how the knee feels for sure until, no surprise, Oct 24. While conditioning in Sept, unrelated to German procedure, he got a bone bruise which we transparently announced. From there, he has to get into game shape. That is everything Sixers know. The rest of the loose talk is guessing."
Bynum's former teammate Metta World Peace seconded that sentiment:
"I think he's going to be amazing this year," World Peace said. "He's tough. That year we won the championship (2010), he was playing through a lot of pain. A lot of pain. But we needed him. I don't think we could've won without him.
"Last year he played in a lot of games. The last couple years he's been dominant. And he's still young. You need him on your team."