Bynum: “I’m Definitely Playing Tomorrow”

UCLA Health SystemAfter 25 games of the 2010-11 season spent on the bench, the wait for Andrew Bynum’s return appears to be over.

The 23-year-old center told reporters at Monday afternoon’s visit with President Barack Obama that he was “definitely playing tomorrow,” referring to L.A.’s Tuesday evening game against the Washington Wizards. His presence in the line up is way more than welcome to the Lakers, who have struggled (relatively, at least) of late due primarily to a lack of bodies in the post, as Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom have had to carry well more weight than should be necessary in December.

“I just want to go out there,” said Bynum. “It’s definitely going to be in bursts, either starting or not, it’s going to be quick spurts — five minutes here, five minutes there.”

Bynum said that he wasn’t sure whether he’d be starting or not, but Phil Jackson has consistently maintained that Bynum will indeed start, in part so that he can take advantage of a body (and specifically knee) that’s been warmed up prior to the game. That would move Lamar Odom back to the bench, a role Odom’s been quite comfortable with for the past two championship seasons.

The Lakers also play on Wednesday evening in Indiana, which Bynum acknowledged should prove to be a good litmus test.

“That’s a another reason probably why we believe that this will be a good test just to see what happens on a back-to-back situation, if there will be any swelling or anything like that,” he said.