Rockets' Dwight Howard returns from ankle injury against Spurs

Dwight Howard returns to the lineup after missing three games due to an ankle injury. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

SAN ANTONIO -- Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will return to the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Spurs after missing the previous three games with a sprained ankle.

"We'll monitor him, obviously, with him taking the time off," interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Wednesday morning. "We won't let him out there for long stints. As long as he's able to play and be productive we'll leave him out there."

Howard is averaging 14.4 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.

While Howard returns for the ESPN game, Spurs center Tim Duncan will miss his second consecutive game with right knee soreness.