Gasol, Bynum to play against Utah

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Laker fans can exhale: According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are both expected to play in tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz. Gasol suffered a bone bruise on his right knee after a collision with the Nuggets’ Nene, and Bynum’s right knee collided with Lamar Odom in the same game.

Gasol suffered a bone bruise but says he’s fine to play, and Bynum says that the brace he wears on his knee protected him from injury. The Lakers have recalled Derrick Character from the Bakersfield Jam as an “insurance policy” just in case.

The Lakers’ loss to the Nuggets was only their second loss since the All-Star break. With six games remaining in the season, the Lakers trail the San Antonio Spurs by 2.5 games for the top spot in the Western Conference.