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Pau Gasol says he'll be back on the court for Game 6 vs. Cavs

CHICAGO -- Pau Gasol says he's going to try and play in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. Gasol missed the past two games because of a strained left hamstring.

"I made some good progress today," Gasol said after the Bulls' workout on Wednesday. "No residual pain from [Tuesday] also works. We're making progress. At the end of the day, [Thursday] is the game and I'll do everything I can to help the team. ... I'll be out there. Whichever way I can be, I will be."

Gasol initially hurt his hamstring in Game 2 and played only 22 minutes in Game 3 after being taken out in the second half. He isn't sure how much he will be able to do in Game 6, but the Bulls could use his presence -- both for an emotional lift and a tactical one. The Bulls have struggled to find offensive consistency without Gasol in the lineup and need his low-post scoring ability with their season on the line.

"Right now it's win or go home," Gasol said. "There's nothing left besides tomorrow's game. What percentage I'll be able to play, I don't know. But whatever percentage I'll be, I will give."

Gasol wants to see how the hamstring reacts during the game and said he would try to keep it loose with a heating pad throughout the contest.

"We talked about it with the training staff," Gasol said. "It wouldn't be wise to play the usual amount of minutes, playing the 12 first [quarter] minutes like I usually do in the first quarter and the third. But we'll go with how it feels and how it reacts and go from there."

Gasol's presence figures to give Tom Thibodeau's team a jolt heading into a must-win game. The Cavs lead the series 3-2 -- the Bulls have lost the past two without Gasol.

"At this time of the year whatever a guy can give you, you'd like him to give it to you," Thibodeau said. "So whatever he has -- obviously he's a very talented player. Hopefully he'll be ready [Thursday]."