Andrew Bynum returns to lineup

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Lakers had their big man in the middle when they hosted Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.

"I'm playing," Lakers center Andrew Bynum said while making his way off the practice court following the team's shootaround on Thursday morning.

Bynum sat out the Lakers' 114-106 overtime win against the Houston Rockets with a bone bruise in his left knee. Bynum suffered the injury Sunday in the Lakers' loss to the Celtics while boxing out Paul Pierce.

After missing 24 games to start the season while recuperating from offseason surgery to his right knee, it appears the left knee injury will only cost Bynum one game.

"He has every intention of going out there," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "He went through shootaround. If anything happens between now and the game and shootaround caused it, I'll be sorry."

Jackson ramped up Bynum and the team's activity level in advance of their showdown with the first-place Spurs.

"I was a little more active with them today than I usually am," Jackson said. "I usually let them go through shootaround and just get their shots down. I did some more things today about offense -- about offense and moving into our offense right away."

Bynum is averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game on the season.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.