Guard Joe Johnson is scheduled to be back in the starting lineup for the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals tonight at San Antonio.
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 Texas.
"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 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.
Johnson's return eases the burden on Steve Nash -- at both ends of the court.
On defense, Nash will no longer have to chase San Antonio point guard Tony Parker. He'll be Johnson's problem. Instead, Nash will guard the Spurs' last scoring option, Bruce Bowen.
When the Suns have the ball, Nash will no longer be the second scoring option after center Amare Stoudemire. That'll be Johnson's job too.