He's been doing that for a while. I know some people think he's trying to mess with Andy's head by pretending he knows how he feels, but IMO, he's just making excuses for himself. His usual, not so subtle, comments about how he bravely played through the pain look a bit silly when Andy actually took time off the tour to miss the French, then for surgery. He knows the best he can do is try to align himself with Andy, and hope to get people thinking that they are in a similar situation.
I think a lot of the time he is playing head games, especially with Andy. I also sometimes think he is trying to be 'part of the gang' so to speak, so people can think he's being sympathetic and all that. There are other times when I think he just gets a kick out of being a total prat who should keep his gob shut.
The thought of Andy beating him again some time soon fills me with irrational levels of glee!