Leonard returns to Clippers’ lineup against Timberwolves

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard is back in the lineup for the Los Angeles Clippers in their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

Leonard sat out a loss to Sacramento on Thursday because of lower back tightness. He also didn’t play on Jan. 22 in a loss at Atlanta because of left knee soreness, an injury that has bothered him on and off this season.

Leonard is averaging 27.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 36 games. Altogether, he’s missed 12 games.

Coach Doc Rivers has spent most of the season juggling lineups because Leonard and fellow superstar Paul George, along with others, have been in and out. Even when players return, their minutes are often initially restricted by the medical staff.

“Every game, there’s a change,” Rivers said. “Five different guys with minutes restrictions, you need a math guy during the game to try to figure out who can go in, when they can go in.”

Leonard planned to travel to San Diego State later Saturday for a jersey retirement ceremony at his alma mater.

Also back for the Clippers is guard Derrick Walton Jr., who had missed a game because of a right elbow contusion.