While the Golden State Warriors won't be at full strength anymore this regular season, one of their stars expects to get back on the floor later this week.
In an interview with ESPN.com's Chris Haynes, All-Star forward Kevin Durant says he will be back in action for the team's next game -- a Thursday night showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks (10:30 ET, TNT):
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said forward Kevin Durant will "probably" be activated for Thursday's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, but Durant provided a more emphatic update on his status.
"You can tell them I'm playing Thursday," Durant told ESPN shortly before tipoff for Tuesday night's game with the Indiana Pacers.
Kerr, speaking to reporters before the game, said Durant's rib was feeling great, adding that Durant "wanted to play tonight and we didn't let him."
Golden State has nine games remaining in the regular season. With the playoffs around the corner, the Warriors are prioritizing health over superior performance right now.
"We're just trying to be smart," Kerr said. "When KD feels like he's ready to go, we're going to give him two extra days until the next game just to be really safe. I mean, the last thing we want is for anybody to reinjure something or have something linger, so we're going to be extra cautious with everybody."
Durant has missed the past six games with a rib injury, which was discovered on March 16. The Warriors have gone 2-4 during his absence. Thursday's game will be one of three home games (eight overall) left this season for Golden State.
Durant is averaging 26.6 points, 5.4 assists, 6.8 rebounds and a career-high 1.9 blocks per game this season. The Warriors are second in the Western Conference with a 54-19 record.
* * *