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76ers struggle to stay in Eastern Conference playoff race without injured Bynum

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    Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins directs his team in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 107-100. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (The Associated Press)

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    Houston Rockets' Omer Asik (3), of Turkey, goes up for a shot past Philadelphia 76ers' Dorell Wright (4) as Jrue Holiday (11) and Spencer Hawes (00) look on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (The Associated Press)

Andrew Bynum is hopeful he can return to the Philadelphia 76ers around next month's All-Star break.

Bynum has not yet played in his first season with the Sixers as he recovers from bone bruises on both knees. Bynum took part in light shooting drills at Monday's practice. He says he's pain free.

Without Bynum, the Sixers are lagging at 16-22 and entered Monday four games behind Boston for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bynum has worked weights into his rehabilitation and started running on Monday. He is on a six-step rehabilitation process that he hopes will get him back into lineup around the Feb. 15 All-Star break.