Kyle Lowry hopes to return soon, but says he's being cautious

NEW YORK -- Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, who has been out with back spasms, said he plans to return before the end of the regular season, but will be cautious.

Lowry missed his fifth straight game Friday night, which the Raptors lost 114-109 to the Brooklyn Nets. The 29-year-old All-Star has been dealing with the injury since mid-March. He missed two games, returned March 24 in Detroit and then had to leave the game after re-injuring himself.

Optimistically, Lowry would like to return sometime next week -- either Wednesday in Charlotte, Friday in Orlando or Saturday in Miami -- sources told ESPN.com, but he also understands that he doesn't want to have another setback and wants to be as healthy as possible before the playoffs begin.

Toronto has seven games remaining in the regular season.

"I'm taking my time in this process and making sure I'm completely, fully healthy," Lowry said. "It's feeling better. It's still very tender and sensitive, but the process is getting better."

Lowry has dealt with myriad of nagging injuries this season. He dislocated two bones in his shooting hand and also had a knee injury.

"I haven't been hurt in a while. It sucks," Lowry said. "But I'm not gonna rush it. I rushed it the first time. I'm gonna take my time. I don't want this to come back and be a reoccurring thing."

Lowry is averaging 17.9 points and 6.9 assists in 66 games for the Raptors this season.