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."
Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on Tuesday:
1. Brandon Saad's breakout game
After turning in one of his best efforts of the season on Sunday against Tampa Bay, the Blackhawks rewarded Saad with a promotion to the top-six again. And he took advantage of that opportunity.
In the first period alone, Saad recorded four shots on goal, scored his first of the season on the power play, drew a penalty and had a takeaway in 7:42 of ice time, which led all forwards. He finished with nine shot attempts (a season-high seven on goal) and 18:56 of ice time.
On his power-play goal, Saad battled for position in front of the net, called for the puck and scored on his second effort. He did all the right things and got rewarded, including on the empty-netter that sealed the victory.
"I've had some chances, especially as of late," Saad said. "But it's definitely nice for them to get in and get a win on top of that."
Said coach Joel Quenneville: "He was excellent tonight. ... I thought he had great speed all over the ice, had the puck way more. We’re happy for him. Big factor in the win."
2. Erik Gustafsson's slap-pass becoming a thing
For the second time this season, Gustafsson contributed to a game-winning goal that involved a fake shot and slap-pass from the point. Patrick Kane was the recipient of the cross-ice pass and buried home the one-timer from the right faceoff circle
"I can’t score by myself, so it’s better to pass it," Gustafsson joked. "No, I know Kaner is out there. He’s always getting open when someone else has the puck so it’s easy to find him and there was one guy in front of me so I wanted to pass it."
3. Blackhawks cut down on high-danger chances
On Sunday against Tampa Bay, the Blackhawks allowed 25 high-danger chances at even strength. It put them at the very bottom of the league for most on average per game, ironically falling below Anaheim.
Through two periods on Tuesday, the Blackhawks allowed zero and only five at 5-on-5 for the entire game. Certainly a 180 from two nights ago, and an area they will continue to build upon.
"We just took away those quality chances," said Corey Crawford, who made 24 saves and picked up his first win at home since Dec. 17, 2017. "I don't think they really had too many where they had time in front of the net to really think about where they wanted to shoot and our guys were on the right away in the middle of the ice and that'll give you a great chance to win a hockey game."
4. Special teams battle
There were a total of 20 penalty minutes (10 for Anaheim, 10 for Chicago), which meant lots of power play opportunities and not as much even-strength time.
The Blackhawks had four of them in the first period, and converted on the second try when Saad scored his first of the season. The penalty killed went 4-for-4, allowing a combined eight combined shots on goal but limiting the quality chances.
When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.
That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.
Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.
One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.
Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.
Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.
This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).
The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.