Brand could return as soon as Thursday but definitely Sunday

Elton Brand is expected to make his long-awaited return to the Los Angeles Clippers this week.

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said that Brand, who has missed the entire season with an Achilles tendon injury, definitely will play Sunday against the Rockets, but the forward might return as soon as Thursday against the Kings.

"I love to hoop," Brand said, according to The Los Angeles Times. "I'm excited to go out there and really give it a test."

Brand, who averaged 20.5 points and 9.3 rebounds last season,
tore his left Achilles tendon Aug. 3 during a workout.

Without Brand, the Clippers are 22-52. Last season with Brand, the Clippers were 40-42 and missed out on qualifying for the playoffs by two games.