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Emmanuel Mudiay returns after missing 14 games with ankle injury

Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeremy Lin, Spencer Hawes

Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay, center, drives the lane for a shot as Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin, left, and forward Spencer Hawes defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Denver. The Nuggets won 95-92. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


DENVER (AP) — Nuggets rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay returns to the court Sunday night against Charlotte after missing 14 games with a sprained right ankle.

Just in time, too, as the Nuggets will be without Jameer Nelson after he strained his left hip flexor in a loss at Memphis on Friday. Denver also will be without forward Kenneth Faried, who’s helping out after the birth of his daughter.

Drafted with the seventh overall pick last summer, Mudiay is averaging 10.7 points and 5.7 assists this season. He hasn’t played since Dec. 11 against Minnesota.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone says Mudiay won’t have his playing time closely monitored, even more so with Nelson sidelined. Mudiay’s backup will be Randy Foye, with Will Barton and Danilo Gallinari possibly handling the ball as well.