Former All-Star Conley to return for the Jazz on Friday after nine-game absence

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The Utah Jazz will receive a boost for Friday's home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the form of Mike Conley Jr's return from a nine-game injury absence.

Conley, 35, has not played since November 19, when he left the floor against the Portland Trail Blazers after only playing nine minutes, going on to be diagnosed with a strained muscle near his left knee.

An All-Star in 2021, Conley is posting his lowest point average (10.2 per game) since his rookie season, although his 7.9 assists per game is a new career-high in his 16th campaign.

Speaking to reporters after Friday's shootaround, he implied he was not yet at full capacity, but that the only way he is going to get to that point is by returning to game-speed.

"I've been working, and we're still working through some things, but the only way to get through it is to kind of work your way back in it and test the water," he said.

After trading away franchise players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in the offseason, it was meant to be a rough rebuilding year for the Jazz, but they have defied expectations up to this point and sit sixth in the Western Conference at 15-13.