News: Russell (knee) has been upgraded to probable for Friday's game against the Heat, Brian Lewis of the New York Post reports.
Impact: Russell has been sidelined since mid-November following a procedure on his left knee, but has gone through some practices with the Nets' G-League affiliate recently and has now finally been cleared for a return to action. Considering he's had nearly two months off, Russell will likely have some significant restrictions in his first few games back, so fantasy owners may want to temper expectations from the get go until he's back on a full workload. That said, Russell averaged 20.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.5 three-pointers across 27.8 minutes over the first 12 games of the season, so his return marks a huge boost for season-long owners who stuck with him through the injury. Look for official clearance to come after Friday's morning shootaround and his return should eventually mean a much smaller role for Spencer Dinwiddie. It wouldn't be surprising, however, if Russell came off the bench initially.