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Emmanuel Mudiay To Return to Nuggets Lineup

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After missing nearly a month with an injury to his right ankle, the No. 7 pick from the 2015 draft is set to be active for the Nuggets' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 6 pending an evaluation before the game.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Mudiay is set to return to the Nuggets lineup Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post reported Tuesday evening.

Michael Malone has repeatedly stated that injured players will be active for games before successfully completing a practice with the team. Mudiay was a full participant in full-contact drills Tuesday, and the training staff wants to see how the rookie's ankle responds to a shootaround today before declaring him fit to return.

"It was great to see him back, on the floor, practicing, contact, going through everything live," Malone said to the Denver Post. "This is the first time in 25, 26 days he's done anything live. So hopefully he wakes up, he's feeling pretty well and he can go through shootaround and he can play. It's good to have him back."

Much like Jusuf Nurkić, Mudiay would be available on a minutes restriction, and would not be part of the starting lineup. Malone has not confirmed that Mudiay will be the starting point guard once the minutes restriction is lifted.

Missing time has been a challenge for Mudiay, who has demonstrated a great work ethic and leadership since joining Denver in July.

"It's the worst," Mudiay said to the Denver Post. "I don't know what to do with myself to be honest with you. But other than that, I've just been trying to be the best cheerleader I can be and at the same time I'm learning a lot just by sitting there and watching, seeing it from another perspective. So it's been helpful, too."

Mudiay is averaging 10.7 points and 5.7 assists in 23 games this season, according to Basketball-Reference.

Read Dempsey's report on Emmanuel Mudiay for the Denver Post by clicking here.