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Pau Gasol will try to play for the Bulls in Game 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers

The veteran big man returns with the season on the line on Thursday.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Pau is back. I repeat: PAU IS BACK:

Gasol is returning from a hamstring injury suffered in the second half of Game 3. He doesn't know how many minutes he'll be able to play, but he said he feels no "residual pain" in his hamstring. It will be interesting to see if Tom Thibodeau starts Gasol or goes back to Taj Gibson when Game 6 tips off at the United Center on Thursday.

Gasol's absence certainly hurt the Bulls' offense the last two games, both losses. Nikola Mirotic was his nominal replacement in the rotation, and he finished with just 13 points on 3-of-16 from the floor in Game 4 and Game 5 combined.

Gasol was great for the Bulls in their Game 1 win (21 points, 10 rebounds) but wasn't nearly as effective in Game 2 or Game 3 prior to the injury. He's averaging 16.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game on 48.7 percent shooting from the field in nine playoff games this year.