SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jeff Green will return to the Thunder’s lineup tonight against Sacramento, but the Thunder has lost power forward Nick Collison to a groin injury.
It leaves the Thunder with a starting lineup tonight of Russell Westbrook, Kyle Weaver, Thabo Sefolosha, Green and Nenad Krstic.
Green said his back is 100 percent and he wouldn’t return if it wasn’t.
“Everything’s not going to be right on point right away,” Green said. “But I’m going to go out there and go 110 percent and be ready.”
But with the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow night in Denver, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he is likely to limit Green’s minutes to less than the 41.1 he averaged in February but plans on playing his second leading scorer in both games.
“We’re going to definitely keep an eye on his minutes,” said Brooks. “We’re not going to go nuts. I’m going to be in constant communication with him throughout the game and see how he’s feeling and how his conditioning is. But Jeff is an incredible athlete and in great condition. I don’t see myself going into the 40s with him, but I can see low 30s.”
Kevin Durant, meanwhile, is still out while recovering from a sprained right ankle and the team is still listing him as day-to-day. He’s continuing to participate in pre-game shooting but the team is not going to rush him back and wants to make sure his ankle is completely healed before clearing him to return.
Also, Robert Swift has re-joined the team after receiving an excused absence from the team the past two games for personal reasons. He told me his 10-month-old son, Reiko Swift, needed surgery to fix overlapped growth plates in his head. Swift flew back to Seattle, where his son was in intensive care for two days and is still recovering in a hospital. He is expected to be released by the end of the week.