Ellis returns to Warriors after missing 3 games

Monta Ellis returned to the Golden State Warriors’ lineup Friday

night against the Utah Jazz after sitting out three games with a

mild left knee sprain.

The NBA’s fifth-leading scorer at 26.2 points a game, Ellis had

not played since injuring himself late in the fourth quarter

against Dallas on Feb. 8. He was examined Tuesday in Alabama by Dr.

James Andrews, who confirmed the original diagnosis of a mild left

knee sprain. Ellis originally hurt the knee Feb. 8 against

Dallas.

Golden State coach Don Nelson didn’t expect to limit Ellis’

playing time against Utah, but said he’ll rest the veteran point

guard, who is second in the NBA in minutes played.

“I don’t think his injury is going to limit him,” Nelson said.

“We’ll communicate during the game. I don’t think anyone has to

play 48 (minutes) anymore, especially with 10 guys (on the

roster).”

The Warriors went 2-1 in the three games Ellis sat out and

averaged 118.6 points, nearly 11 points higher than their season

average.

Also, guard Raja Bell made a rare appearance in the Warriors’

locker room and said he’s still hopeful of playing this season.

Bell, who underwent left wrist surgery on Dec. 3, is expected to

stay in the Bay Area during the remainder of his rehab.