Bullshit to what? Also, wouldn't you lift with the bar for strength and use the odd grips/implements for conditioning or higher rep stuff. Going heavy can be dangerous so using a bar is best ( i assume, I really just read some crap and lift no backround or anything) as it allows good form and balance.
No, anything is for strength, he shouldn't be going heavy if he's training around an injury anyways, and you can increase weight with any workout implement, even BW. Strength is built how you build it. Either functionally or not, the implement doesn't matter. You can still do conditioning with a barbell!