Jazz PG Mike Conley Jr. cleared to return after missing 9 games

Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley Jr. has been cleared to return for Friday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after missing nine games because of a strained muscle near his left knee.

The Jazz will still be short-handed in the backcourt with guard Collin Sexton, who replaced Conley in the starting lineup, scheduled to miss at least a week with a mild hamstring strain. Utah went 3-6 during Conley's absence, but the Jazz have won three of the past four games.

Forward Lauri Markkanen, the Jazz's leading scorer and rebounder, is listed as questionable due to the illness that caused him to miss Wednesday's comeback win over the Golden State Warriors. Markkanen participated in shootaround Friday morning.

Conley, 35, will be on a minutes restriction as he works to regain his conditioning.

"I've been working, and we're still working through some things, but the only way to get through it is to kind of work your way back in it and test the water," Conley told reporters after shootaround.