Wednesday , Apr , 08 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Andrew Bynum to Play Thursday against Nuggets

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum will return to action Thursday against the Denver Nuggets, according to a source close to the Lakers.

Bynum, the team’s budding star at center, has missed the past 32 games after suffering a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee Jan. 31 at Memphis. The source said Lakers coach Phil Jackson telephoned Bynum Tuesday night and told him he was going to be activated for Thursday’s game.

Jackson has said recently that Bynum probably will start once he returns, a move that likely will send Lamar Odom back to the bench.

Bynum was averaging 14 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 56 percent from the floor at the time of the injury. After playing inconsistently the first two months of the season, he was emerging as a dominant force just before getting hurt at Memphis. In the 12 games before the injury, Bynum had averaged 20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds.