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Hornets' Davis (ankle) returns to practice, expects to play soon

anthony-davis-hornets Anthony Davis should make his return to the court this week  after suffering an ankle injury (Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

By Ben Golliver

The return of The Unibrow is nigh.

Hornets rookie Anthony Davis, sidelined with a left ankle injury since Nov. 17,  returned to practice on Monday and could play this week.

The Times-Picayune reports that Hornets coach Monty Williams indicated that Davis could return as soon as a Tuesday night game against the Washington Wizards.

"I’m not sure if he has to take another test today, tomorrow or has already taken it,’’ Williams said. "He’s been cleared for contact and is ramping up his conditioning. He practiced a little bit, but again (we) have to wait until tonight or tomorrow to see how he feels. He has been working with Coach Carlos (Daniel).''

Williams said after Saturday night’s 106-90 loss to the Miami Heat they would get Davis back sometime this week.

The No. 1 overall pick in the the 2012 draft, Davis' rookie season was one of the most highly-anticipated in recent memory after he dominated in his freshman season at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to the NCAA title and winning a host of individual honors.

Things haven't quite gone as planned since draft night. Davis suffered an ankle sprain during tryouts for USA Basketball, although he went on to play in the London Olympics and win a gold medal.  After a promising preseason, Davis missed time with a mild concussion, thanks to an elbow from teammate Austin Rivers, before suffering a series of sprained ankles in November. The Hornets said in late-November that Davis would miss a few weeks, so at least he's on schedule if he returns this week.

During his absence, Davis has fallen from the favorite's position in 2012-13 Rookie of the Year race, as Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were named Rookies of the Month for October/November.

Davis, 19, has appeared in just six games for the Hornets, averaging 16.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. The Hornets have struggled without him and currently hold the worst record in the Western Conference at 5-14. With Davis, New Orleans was 2-4; without him, 3-10.
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