The latest on Andrew Bynum's knee injury

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The latest on Andrew Bynum's knee injury

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."

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

ATLANTA — Jimmy Butler insisted being a starter in the All-Star Game means next to nothing, but it seems to go against his never-ending battle for credibility and validation as a legit superstar.

Moments after it was revealed he would be an All-Star starter for the first time and make his third overall trip to All-Star weekend, he sang the same nonchalant tune.

"It hasn't changed at all," Butler said on a conference call Thursday evening. "Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment and honor to be named a starter. But it's All-Star weekend. There are going to be a lot of good players there. I guess it's just another name thrown in with some decent players."

The NBA's format for selecting the All-Star starters changed this season, with fans no longer being the sole group that gets to vote for starters. If it was still a fans-only vote, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid would've started in Butler's place.

But with the new formula that allows the media and the players to take part in the vote, the fan vote accounts for just 50 percent of the formula. So Butler joined Cleveland's LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee's Giannis Antekounmpo and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in the starting five for the Eastern Conference.

Butler's is averaging 24.8 points with 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, career-highs across the board, and had he not been selected as a starter, the Bulls' 20-21 record would not have prevented coaches from selecting him as a reserve as they had the last two seasons.

[SHOP BULLS: Get a Jimmy Butler jersey right here]

He won't be joined in the starting lineup by Dwyane Wade, who finished second in backcourt voting behind Irving, but cast his vote for his teammate anyway and hopes Wade will be selected as a reserve.

"Of course. He's been a huge part of what we're doing here, and I think he has played extremely well the first part of the season," Butler said. "He got my vote. I will tell you that."

Golden State's Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will start for the West, along with Houston's James Harden, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans' Anthony Davis, a Chicago native.

The fun-filled and busy weekend in New Orleans begins Feb. 17, from the league events to the parties to the festivities and then finally the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

Butler likely views it as more of an accomplishment for his team of trainers and confidants then himself.

"It's fun, man. You get to know the other really good players in the league, and you get to know a little bit about them," Butler said. "And the experience that you get to be a part of, whether it be the Jordan party or taking your guys with you everywhere. That's the most fun part for me, my trainers, my brothers, everybody that's behind the scenes helping me gets to experience it too."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls build around All-Star Jimmy Butler?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls build around All-Star Jimmy Butler?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune) and Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Jimmy Butler is an All-Star starter. Is he a superstar now meaning the Bulls have to build around him? The guys pose that question to Bulls great Horace Grant.

The Raiders want to move to Las Vegas. If your NFL team moved, should you keep rooting for them? Plus should the Cubs help Sammy Sosa out as his Hall of Fame chances get smaller?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below.