Jerry Stackhouse Nearing Return

Mavs veteran accepting and fighting for minutes off the Mavs bench.

Earlier this season, it seemed Jerry Stackhouse had played his last game in a Mavericks uniform. After eight poor games to start the season, Stackhouse found himself sitting on the bench. Soon after, Stackhouse decided to have minor surgery for plantar fasciitis that had been bothering him since the preseason.

That's when things really took a turn for the worse. Watching from the bench, Stackhouse started to realize he may no longer fit into Carlisle's plans. He began making it clear to anyone who would listen that he was looking for new opportunities but fell short of ever actually demanding a trade.

That was three months ago. The trade interest for Stackhouse around the league has been nonexistent and Mark Cuban refused to buy him out of his contract. With the trade deadline seven days away, it doesn't appear that he will be playing in a new city before the season ends.

Stackhouse seems to have accepted his fate, and with Terry out now sees an opportunity for playing time. Having barely played this season, he was hopeful of possibly dressing against Boston tonight, but at practice Wednesday he failed to show he was ready to contribute.

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"He's not going to be available until after the [All-Star] break," Carlisle said. "I don't know the timetable. But he's making progress. I don't know that he's close. But if he comes to me after the break and says he's ready, then we'll be talking."

So Stackhouse's return will have to wait. Of course, even a 100% healthy Stackhouse doesn't figure to provide much of a boost, if any, to the Mavs bench. Dating back to last season, Stackhouse is shooting just 31.5% from beyond the arc, and with an injured foot and 34 year old legs his time as Mav may be done regardless of his ambition.

Wes Cox is a Dallas based blogger whose thoughts on the Mavs can be read daily at www.mavsmoneyball.com.

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