Grizzlies' Mike Conley poised to return early

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is ready to return much sooner than originally expected after suffering transverse process fractures in his lower back, and he hopes to play in Friday's home game against the Sacramento Kings.

Conley was expected to miss six weeks after injuring his back on Nov. 28, according to the projected timetable released by the team the next day. However, he recently resumed basketball activities and pushed to come back sooner.

The team is officially listing Conley as doubtful against the Kings, but sources expect him to play.