Russell set to return from injury as Lakers host the Raptors
After missing six games with a sprained ankle Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell will return Friday at home against the Toronto Raptors.
The Lakers, who have won six of their past eight games, face a crucial final 16 fixtures of the regular season, sitting right in the thick of the Western Conference play-in tournament race.
At 32-34 Los Angeles are ninth, but just two games adrift of the fifth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers (35-33), and only one game clear of the 13th-ranked Portland Trail Blazers (31-35).
Speaking ahead of Friday's game, head coach Darvin Ham said Russell would be "pretty much a full go", implying that he will play somewhere near the 30 minutes per game he was averaging in his three appearances for the Lakers prior to his injury.
In those games, he averaged 17.3 points and 5.6 assists, and the Lakers went 2-1.
Backup guard Austin Reaves had picked up the slack in an expanded role, averaging 14.5 points and 5.5 assists while shooting 50 per cent from the field and 45.5 per cent from deep during his four games this month.