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Kevin Durant says he'll return Thursday; Draymond Green out again

OAKLAND, Calif. -- 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.

Durant sat out his sixth straight game Tuesday because of right rib soreness. The Warriors fell 92-81, the sixth loss in their past nine games.

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."

Durant was hit in the ribs March 11 in a contest at the Minnesota Timberwolves. An MRI a few days later revealed an incomplete fracture.

He has ramped up the intensity of his workouts during practices over the past two days. With Stephen Curry sidelined for the foreseeable future, Durant will be expected to carry the offensive load.

Klay Thompson, who suffered a right thumb fracture in that same game with the Timberwolves, figures to rejoin the Warriors' lineup within a week or so. Draymond Green was initially expected to return to action Tuesday night after a two-game hiatus, but he was ruled out because he is still recovering from flu-like symptoms.

"He came to shootaround this morning and got a good sweat but still was reporting a lot of discomfort and hasn't been healthy in terms of keeping food down," Kerr said of Green. "So the illness is still lingering. He wanted to play, but we didn't let him, either."

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."