On Friday, Andrew Bynum said he suffered a “setback” and revealed that he has swelling in his right knee after participating in five-on-five drills a week ago. Bynum – who recently told the media that he was 100 percent sure he’d play this season – said, “I really don’t know” when asked whether he’ll appear in a game this year.

Given the latest developments, does that mean Doug Collins must approach the remainder of the season under the assumption that Bynum won’t be back?

“I’ve been coaching the team all along like that,” Collins said. “To me, there’s always been that possibility. Does that mean I didn’t have hope he’d be back? Absolutely we wanted him back. We started looking at, well, maybe we’ll have him for 40 [games], maybe we’ll have him for 30. You keep that hope. Everybody has to have hope. Now we’re down to [26] games. The reality is, this season is, there’s not much more time left in it. From training camp on, I’ve tried to say, ‘we don’t have Andrew and we’ve got to play.’”

The Sixers – who are in the midst of a season-worst seven-game losing streak and are 12 games under .500 – could obviously use someone of Bynum’s ability. Despite the fact that the team was constructed around a player who hasn’t stepped on the court yet, Collins defended his injured center, contending that "he's in a lot of pain" and “gets misread a little bit.”

“This is not a guy who’s malingering or does not want to be out there,” Collins said. “He wants to help his team. With the setback – I don’t want to say setback – with the lack of progress that he’s made with his leg, that’s tough for him. Very tough.”