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Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Marion returns vs. Rockets

By Tim MacMahon

HOUSTON -- Mavericks forward Shawn Marion will be back in the lineup after missing the last three games with a sprained left ankle.

Quinton Ross, who filled in for Marion as a starter, did not make the trip to Houston. Ross didn't return after halftime in Tuesday night's loss to the Golden State Warriors because of lower back pain. He stayed in Dallas for further evaluation and will join the team in Indiana before Friday's game.

Carlisle said he would manage Marion's minutes if necessary, but he didn't think the veteran's conditioning would be a concern after the layoff. Marion participated in the Mavs' last two practices.

"We’ll play it by ear," Carlisle said. "He’s going to go hard when he’s out there. When he needs breaks, we’ll give him breaks and go from there."

Center Erick Dampier, who has missed the last five games, is still sidelined indefinitely with an unspecified illness. Dampier made the road trip and worked out on the Toyota Center court about two hours before the game.

"Generally speaking, we’re optimistic," said Carlisle, who expects an official announcement about Dampier's status soon.