Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters could return to the lineup against the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday.


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters participated in all of the contact drills during Monday morning's practice and could return to the floor when the team welcomes the San Antonio Spurs to Quicken Loans Arena Tuesday.

Waiters has been out of the lineup since Feb. 18, when he suffered a hyperextended left knee while coming down from a dunk at the Philadelphia 76ers in the Cavaliers' first game back from the All-Star break.

"The knee feels good," Waiters said. "It's just a little bit of aches, but it's okay.

"I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting out there with my team. They've been playing great basketball these last couple games, and I'm looking forward to getting out there and continuing it.

"When I saw it, I didn't know what to think. At first, I thought I tore something, but I'm just thankful. I thank God every day for not tearing anything. Luckily, it was just a hyperextension."

In 49 games this season, Waiters is averaging 14.3 points per game, and making more than 42 percent of the shots. Waiters wanted to make sure he could again play up to that level before getting back on the court.

"I really didn't know a timetable, but I just wanted to take my time, not try and rush back out there and make it worse," Waiters said. "That was the biggest thing, just getting a lot of treatment, getting after it every day, just working out with the guys in the training room, and I think they did a great job."

Should Waiters return Tuesday, he will be playing against a Spurs team that defeated the Cavaliers, 126-96, in San Antonio back in November. Waiters hopes he can be an offensive catalyst for a Cavaliers team that has won eight of their last 12 games and trails the Atlanta Hawks by 3.5 games for the eighth, and final, playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"They kicked our butts, so we know what we've got to do against a great team like that," Waiters said. "We've just got to come out and be ready, be aggressive from the start and play defense. It's going to be a defensive game. They're a great offensive team. They run their stuff well, and we've just got to do a great job of talking and having one another's back out there.

"I can't wait to get out there. I'm excited just to lace them back up, be back out there and make this playoff push that we've got a chance to make. (Center) Spencer (Hawes has) been doing a great job since he's gotten here, and I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing with him."

In addition to Waiters, the Cavaliers got center Anderson Varejao back on the practice courts on a limited basis Monday. According to head coach Mike Brown, Varejao participated in half of the contact drills at practice.

Waiters feels the Cavaliers will greatly benefit from added depth in the rotation when he, Varejao (back) and guard C.J. Miles (ankle) are able to return from injury.

"When we get everybody back and everybody healthy, I think we can make a great playoff run," Waiters said. "We've got a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. When we're healthy, I think we're one of the best teams out there. We've been playing great basketball lately. We've just got to keep it up.

"We know what's at stake. We know we've got a chance to make this run and finish out the season strong."

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