Jrue Holiday expected to play against Suns, but likely limited to maximum of 15 minutes

by Jim Eichenhofer

Monty Williams told reporters during pregame Friday that he expects point guard Jrue Holiday to return from injury tonight vs. Phoenix. If Holiday plays, he’ll fill a drastically different role compared to how he was utilized in the season’s first 37 games.

A starter prior to sustaining a stress reaction in his lower right leg in mid-January, Holiday will be limited to 15 minutes or fewer. He will also come off the bench, potentially playing the minutes that backup point guard Toney Douglas has been getting lately. Holiday averaged 33.7 minutes prior to his injury, but will not come close to that figure anytime soon.

“He won’t be playing more than 15 minutes a game for the rest of the season,” Williams said. “Unless he feels better and we feel like he’s not in harm’s way – then we’ll increase it. But I doubt that he’ll get to his normal minute allotment. Jrue’s a guy who can play 35 to 40 minutes a night, but he won’t get to that.”

It’s also possible that some of Norris Cole’s minutes will be shifted to Holiday, but Williams indicated Douglas might be the most impacted by Holiday’s return.

“There’s a slot that he could play, most likely Toney’s spot. He may take some of Norris’ minutes, but we have to take it game by game, make sure he feels good after every game and every practice, and the doctors think he’s OK.

“He’s excited to be back on the floor. He means so much to our team. Not just to the defense, but his offensive ability. It’s going to take him some time – and he doesn’t have a lot of time – but we’re glad to have him back.”

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