Gasol will play (definitely, maybe)

Pau Gasol said today he would play Thursday against the Chicago Bulls. Probably. Maybe. But not definitely.

“I don’t know about definitely,” said Gasol, who missed the Lakers’ first 11 games because of a strained hamstring. He expects to make his season debut Thursday. Again, unless something kooky happens between today and Thursday. He went through practice without suffering a setback.

“I felt great today,” Gasol said. “I don’t want to jinx it, but everything felt great today. I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be able to play (Thursday). I want to play. I’ve been wanting to play since Day 1. It wasn’t ready. The muscle wasn’t healed.”

Coach Phil Jackson said Gasol would start and Lamar Odom would return to the bench.