Mayo will play despite sprained AC joint


DALLAS – An MRI revealed that Mavericks shooting guard O.J. Mayo has a mild sprain of the AC joint in his left shoulder, an injury that will not prevent him from playing Saturday afternoon against the Bulls.

“I’m good to go,” Mayo said when asked about the pain. “Ready to play.”

Mayo, who suffered the injury when he crashed into courtside seats while chasing a loose ball late in Tuesday’s win over the Clippers, is the only Maverick who has played in every game this season.

The five-year veteran has never missed a game to injury –- he served a 10-game suspension and missed one game because of bronchitis in his tenure in Memphis –- and has played through several nagging injuries this season.

“He’s going to be in some pain,” said coach Rick Carlisle, who doesn’t anticipate having to limit the playing time of Mayo, the Mavs’ leader in minutes. “It’s what he can tolerate, but he’s one of the toughest guys we’ve had here in a long time. …

“Those are the kind of guys you want to be able to get in a foxhole with.”

Mayo wore a bulky harness to protect the shoulder in Thursday’s loss to the Pacers, when he scored only seven points on 3-of-10 shooting. He hoped that head athletic trainer Casey Smith could come up with some less restrictive protection for his shoulder.

“I’m going to see if we can lighten it up a little bit,” Mayo said. “It was like playing with football pads on.”

The Bulls will be without center Joakim Noah (foot) and shooting guard Marco Belinelli (abdomen).