However, he did not play in the Clippers' 108-95 win over New Orleans.
Barnes suffered a retinal tear in his left eye in the Clippers' Nov. 18 game against the Memphis Grizzlies and underwent a surgical procedure the next day.
"He's going to dress out most likely, and hopefully I don't play him," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the game. "If needed, he's ready to play, except he hasn't had a practice and he was allowed to run three or four days ago. We have back-to-back practice days coming up, so I'm hoping to be able to use him in practice and get him back on the floor."
Barnes, who will wear protective goggles in his return, has appeared in eight games this season, averaging 5.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20 minutes.
"I hate them," Barnes said at the team's shootaround about wearing goggles. "I don't even like wearing sunglasses. I don't like anything on my face. It will be something to work through but anything to get back on the court. We'll see if they make it through the first game. It's just good to be back. I'll wear anything to get back on the court."
Rivers said he expected Barnes will have to adjust to wearing the goggles and preferred to hold him out until the Clippers play the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.
"Some people do well with them," Rivers said. "Some people really struggle with it. My guess is it's going to be hard."