Bynum says he’ll play in Game 5

BOSTON – Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum(notes) ended any doubt he will play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals by saying he’s “100 percent sure” he’ll be on the floor Sunday night.

Bynum has played with a slight cartilage tear in his right knee since March 30. He was considered questionable for Game 5 after having his right knee drained Friday. He also underwent an MRI that revealed no additional damage to the knee.

Bynum credited the two days off, as well as the fact he didn’t have to spend six hours on a plane like he did on Monday, as helping him feel better,

“It is frustrating, especially during the series,” Bynum said. “But I’m doing okay. The draining worked, and on Sunday I’m going to be ready to go.”

Bynum said how many minutes he plays will be based on how he feels, but thinks he’ll be capable of shouldering “a heavy load.” He played just 12 in the Lakers’ Game 4 loss, almost all of which came in the first half.

Bynum and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak didn’t seem concerned about the long-term impact of the injury and have been told it can’t get worse. Bynum said he will have knee surgery some time in early July that will keep him sidelined from two to five weeks. The swelling, he said, not the pain, is his biggest hindrance.

“I’m not a medical expert, but it’s not a serious injury,” Kupchak said. “It’s something that he is going to have addressed and should be [fine] by August, but it’s something you have to monitor. He’s a young player who is still growing into his body. Hopefully, the injury thing, this is it, this is the end of it.”

Marc Spears is an NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter.
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Updated Saturday, Jun 12, 2010