Bynum to 'definitely' play in Game 7

Updated: June 17, 2010, 10:55 AM ET
By Andrew Kamenetzky | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who has been dealing with a torn meniscus in his right knee throughout the playoffs, said Wednesday he would play in Game 7 on Thursday against the Celtics.

"I'm definitely gonna play," said Bynum, who played 16 minutes in Tuesday's Game 6 but very little of that in the second half of the Lakers' 89-67 victory. "It hurts. I need to get surgery done, but I'm gonna hold off."

Earlier Wednesday, Celtics center Kendrick Perkins told reporters he tore two ligaments in his right knee in Game 6 and would be sidelined for Game 7.

Bynum has experienced difficulty getting through the second halves of Games 4 and 6, and acknowledged he had no idea how many minutes he could play in Game 7.

In Game 6, Bynum had two points, four rebounds and one block before requesting to be taken out of the game less than two minutes into the third quarter with the Lakers holding an 18-point lead.

"I'm just gonna try to play as hard as I can, given my current condition," he said. "I'm gonna try to stay out there as long as I can and try to give us as much paint protection as I can."

Bynum said the knee felt "painful" and "stiff" when he woke up, and planned to do more therapy Wednesday. Bynum has undergone two procedures to drain his knee of excess fluid during the playoffs, but said he wouldn't do it again before Game 7.

"I don't think I'm gonna drain it anymore," Bynum said. "I've done it twice already and it's not really gonna help. I'm gonna ease off the needles and try to take it slow and really just go out there and play with the pain."

Bynum is averaging 9.2 points and 7.1 rebounds for the playoffs, but only 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in the last four games of the Finals.

When asked about the pride in gutting out a painful postseason, Bynum expressed confidence in the Lakers' ability to repeat as champions.

"I think this one, when we win it, it's gonna taste much sweeter than the one last year," Bynum said. "Just knowing that I played with the injury, [came] through and helped us get here. It's big. We have to win. We're at home. Everything. We have the momentum right now. We have to go out there and beat this team."

Asked if he was offering a "guarantee," Bynum smiled playfully, but nonetheless went out on a limb. "We're guaranteed to win."

Andrew Kamenetzky is co-author of the Land O' Lakers blog on ESPNLosAngeles.com.

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