Andrew Bynum doubts that he will play this season.

Once 2013 started without a positive outlook, NBA observers and fans both made peace with the idea that the Philadelphia 76ers will not field a team with Andrew Bynum as its center this season.

Andrew Bynum

Bynum is getting paid $16.9 million dollars to rehab his knee injury if he does not make it into the starting five.

That is just the way that it is.

Bynum spoke with ESPN after suffering yet another setback in his comeback.

He did not sound optimistic about his chances for a return.

“It’s getting late. I don’t know [about playing this season],” Bynum said. “I don’t want to play in pain. … I’m 25, it’s my life.”

The 76ers made what they thought was a smart calculated move and they got burned.

On Thursday they were eaten alive by Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls.

It was just another in a series of losses that showcased a 76ers team that is short on heart and long on misery.

Meanwhile over in Denver, Andre Iguodala is on his way back to the playoffs after Philadelphia sent the Olympian packing in favor of Bynum.

It was all good just a year ago.

The coldest thing about this situation is that if Bynum gets even a shred of regeneration within his tattered knees, he is free to walk to another club in July.

“I think being healthy is more important than everything else,” Bynum said. “If I am healthy, I’ll get a deal. I have to be able to play and I need to get to the point with my body where I’m able to play, however long that takes.”

Bynum is young, sports medicine continues to work wonders and Philadelphia would be incredibly irresponsible if they put more money into a situation that could not have gone worse.

Later on down the road if someone else benefits from Bynum’s talents, this will be a hard pill for the 76ers to swallow.