Guard Marcus Thornton (left thigh hematoma) said he wants to play Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers, but that the decision will be up to team doctors.
Thornton has missed the Kings' last four games. The team announced on Jan. 25 that tests had revealed a significant hematoma in his left thigh, and that Thornton would miss one to two weeks.
Thornton participated full-contact during the window of today's practice that was open to media -- a high-energy half-court scrimmage -- and appeared to be moving without much hesitation. Afterward, he said he "felt good out there for the most part."
"See how it feels after I do all the icing and massaging and stuff," Thornton said. "I'm thinking tomorrow (to play). I'm anxious to get back out there. I'm going to go with what the doctors say because they know best, but I'm hoping it's tomorrow.'
Thornton was originally diagnosed with a thigh contusion after taking a knee from Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard on Jan. 8. He returned to the lineup after three games, but re-aggravated the injury in the Kings' win over the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 20 and did not finish the following night's game at Memphis.
Thornton, who is averaging 16.4 points per game, said he has been wearing "something like a football pad" in practice to protect the thigh.
"Kind of uncomfortable," he said. "But I know it's for the best, so I'm going to play with them on until this thing heals up all the way."
Head coach Keith Smart said the Kings have missed Thornton's playmaking ability at times.
"He's young, but he's a veteran," Smart said. "Even having only a couple years under his belt, he still has the savvy of an NBA-aggressive player. And you've missed that on the floor because you need it in some crunch-time situations. He can make a play out of a dead play."
-- Matt Kawahara