Charlotte center Al Jefferson back after missing four games

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says center Al Jefferson will return to the starting lineup Friday night against the Phoenix Suns after missing the last four games with an ankle injury.

Jefferson has been in and out of the Bobcats’ lineup all season and hasn’t played since Nov. 13.

The Bobcats signed Jefferson to a $41 million, three-year contract this offseason and are counting on him to be their leading scorer. He’s averaged 15 points and nine rebounds in the three games he’s played for the Bobcats.

The Suns will again be without guard Eric Bledsoe due to a shin contusion.