Thunder center Perkins expected to play Monday


 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Center Kendrick Perkins returned to practice for Oklahoma City on Sunday, and his teammates expect him to play Monday night when the Thunder host the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Coach Scott Brooks wouldn't go as far as to say that Perkins would definitely play, instead insisting that he would be re-assessed Monday before a final decision is made. Perkins was held out of practice all week while getting treatment for a strained muscle in his right hip.
Perkins' presence could be even more important because it was the Lakers that emerged from a Game 7 on Saturday night to face Oklahoma City. Los Angeles has the All-Star tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the frontcourt.
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