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Suns’ Devin Booker to return Tuesday after 3-game absence

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) is congratulated by forward T.J. Warren (12) and forward Kelly Oubre Jr., right, after making a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Phoenix Suns leading scorer Devin Booker will return Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers after missing three games due to back spasms, head coach Igor Kokoskov told reporters after practice on Monday.

The Athletic’s Bob Young notes Kokoskov said there will not be a limit on Booker’s minutes.

Booker has missed 13 games this season due to injury.

The 22-year-old shooting guard was out three games earlier in the season due to a left hamstring strain, and while he returned, he admitted he wasn’t playing at 100 percent for the next stretch of games. After missing one game due to a stubbed toe, Booker re-aggravated his left hamstring in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 2.

Having a reputation for playing through injuries, Booker said he would take his time and wait until he was 100 percent. He missed six games.

Booker was healthy for seven games before taking a charge against the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 29 that gave him a lower back contusion. Playing the next three games, Booker recorded only 12 minutes against the Charlotte Hornets on Jan. 6 before sitting out the remainder of the matchup because of back spasms.

In his three-game absence, the Suns posted a record of 2-1.

Despite all the injuries this year, Booker is having a career year. His 24.8 points and 6.9 assists per game make him one of five players in the NBA posting those averages, joining Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

The Suns are coming off a 102-93 win over the Nuggets on Saturday and head out on the road for four games, beginning with the Pacers on Tuesday. You can hear Kokoskov discuss the Booker news with 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf on Tuesday morning before the game later that night at 5 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM.

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