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Doctors approve Johnson's return

PHOENIX -- Joe Johnson will be back in the starting lineup
for the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on
Saturday night.

Johnson's return was expected after he practiced Thursday, but
he was awaiting final approval from doctors. He got it Friday
before the team traveled to San Antonio.

"I'm very anxious, just to go out there and get into a rhythm
with the guys, go down there and try to steal Game 3," Johnson
said.

Johnson, the team's third-leading scorer, has been out since May
11, when a face-first fall from the rim left him with a broken bone
near his left eye, a big gash over the eye, a cut inside his mouth
and a mild concussion. He had surgery the next day and on Friday
morning had stitches removed from inside his mouth.

Phoenix lost the game when Johnson was injured, and went 3-3
during his recovery. The Suns eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in
the second round without Johnson, but are down 0-2 to the San
Antonio Spurs in the conference finals.

"I'm just going to go out and play," said Johnson, who will
wear a mask to protect his face. "Whatever the results may be,
that's that."

Coach Mike D'Antoni said the only thing that would limit
Johnson's playing time is "how he's playing."

"I think physically he's fine," D'Antoni said.