|Manu Ginobili is expected to return Saturday. (Getty Images)|
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is expected back on the court for the first time in more than a month this weekend.
MySanAntonio.com reports that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that Ginobili will play against the New Jersey Nets on Saturday after going through a full-contact practice on Friday.
Ginobili, who has been sidelined since Jan. 2 after breaking a bone in his left hand, will not start and his minutes are reportedly expected to be limited. It was reported earlier this week that a return to the court was imminent.
The original timetable for Ginobili's return was 6-8 weeks. A Saturday return would mean that Ginobili missed just under six weeks after the injury.
The Nets contest is the third game of a 9-game road trip. The Spurs are 18-9 on the season, good for first place in the Southwest Division. San Antonio went 15-7 since Ginobili went down, making due thanks to talented rookie Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal and Danny Green.
Ginobili, 34, averaged 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his five appearances before suffering the injury. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.