From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Andrew Bynum still has pain in his left knee that has kept him from making his debut with the Philadelphia 76ers.Bynum is in pain when he walks or attempts even light physical activity, except for swimming. He had been recovering from a bone bruise in his right knee and injured his left knee while bowling last month.The 7-foot center will have his knees examined again Dec. 20th and did not know if he'd need an MRI."Worst case scenario, it's another month," he said Monday night. "Best case scenario, I can ramp it up."Bynum has not or practiced or played for the Sixers since he was acquired in the offseason from the Los Angeles Lakers. Bynum said his right knee has improved to the point where he might have been able to play. He was again listed as inactive for Philadelphia's game against Detroit with "bilateral bone bruises.""There's nothing I can do about it," he said. "It's arthritis in the knees. Cartilage is missing. That's not going to regrow itself. Maybe in the future, next three to five years, there may be something out there that really does help. Right now, it's kind of a waiting game."Bynum, 25, is in the final year of his contract and could sign a five-year deal worth more than 100 million in the offseason, if he's healthy. But his uncertain status could be costing the All-Star millions.Bynum won two NBA titles in seven seasons with the Lakers. The Sixers were hoping he could help them become one of the league's elite teams.He has tried not to think about the fact he might never play for the Sixers."I really think I'll be fine," he said. "If my left knee gets better, and feels like my right, I'll be playing."Bynum announced in May, while still a member of the Lakers, that he was going to Germany in September for the Orthokine blood-spinning treatment in his knees that other professional athletes have sought. The Sixers announced before training camp that Bynum needed to delay his return to allow the effects of the Orthokine treatment to work.The bone bruise in his right knee caused the Sixers to push the return date from training camp to the regular season and now possibly to midseason.But the Sixers are still looking long term with Bynum, who's in the last year of his contract.Bynum said the Sixers haven't really put pressure on him to return."I think initially," he said, "but then I realized more of the pressure was coming from myself. I just had to kind of relax a little bit and let this time pass."If Bynum is cleared to resume basketball activity on the 20th, he said he wouldn't need much time before he played in a game. He's become a devoted swimmer and credited that to keeping him in shape. It's one of the few activities that doesn't cause Bynum pain."It's not getting worse. It's just continuous pain," he said. "I just think the bone bruise has to heal. It's a mirror image of my right knee. My right knee took four months. I think we're a little bit ahead of the curve."
BOSTON — Tyler Thornburg’s gone for the season and there’s really no telling when the other set-up man the Sox expected to help in 2017, Carson Smith, will be back.
The Sox have already made inroads, if minor ones, in bolstering their third-base situation and rotation. Smith’s situation leaves a question of whether the Sox will need to pursue help in the bullpen as well.
There's not an easy answer to settle on at this point.
For one, the timetable with the right-hander Smith — whose shoulder has bothered him on the way back from Tommy John surgery — isn’t clear.
“He's in a no-throw [time] through the weekend,” Sox manager John Farrell said Friday afternoon at Fenway Park. “He'll be reevaluated on Monday to hopefully initiate a throwing program. He's responding favorably to the treatment. He continues to rehab as he's been. We have not closed the book in a sense on anything Carson can contribute this year.”
What does this year mean, though? Will they be able to know by July, by the trade deadline?
“Still too early to tell,” Farrell said. “We thought he was days from starting his rehab assignment after his last live BP session in New York [on June 6]. Unfortunately, that was put on hold for the time being. To get into any kind of timeframes, timetables, I don't know that any of us can predict that right now.”
The Sox relievers have done extraordinarily well without either Thornburg or Smith. Can that continue without reinforcements? The bullpen’s ERA entering Friday was 2.94, the second best mark in the majors. Its innings total, 217, was the second. lowest in the majors.
So it’s not like the entire group is about to collapse from fatigue. But a guy like Joe Kelly, for example, isn’t someone the Sox want to use back to back.
It’s a young group and ultimately an inexperienced group. But Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has already fallen into the trap of trading for premium set-up men twice, and that’s a dangerous road to pursue again. Perhaps a smaller trade makes more sense.
“Well, at this point, we’re open minded to help,” Dombrowski said when asked if he was targeting either third-base or relief help. “I’m not going to get into specifics at this time on what else we’re looking for. Keep an open mind on a lot of ways on which we can improve. We have guys coming back and both the spots, I think Carson Smith is very important to us and our bullpen has pitched great. The other day, we struggled but that was one of the few times we really struggled all year.
“I think Carson still has a chance to come back and help us this year.”
According to multiple reports, Blake Griffin has opted out of his contract with the Clippers, making him a free agent.
Griffin is considered one of the top free agents in a class that will also include Utah’s Gordon Hayward. The Celtics have been reported as possible suitors for both players.
The first overall pick in the 2009 draft, the 28-year-old Griffin is a five-time All-Star, though injuries have limited him over the last three seasons.
Over 61 games, the 6-foot-10 power forward averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game last season. Between numerous injuries and a suspension for hitting a member of the Clippers’ equipment staff, Griffin was limited to just 31 games in the 2015-16 season.
Adrian Wojnarowski said recently that Boston’s reception for Clippers teammate Paul Pierce made a very strong impression on Griffin. Though there might not necessarily be a connection between the two, Griffin said on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” that Boston is on his Mt. Rushmore of NBA cities.