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Sunday, March 18, 2012
Delonte West still doesn't have target date for return

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- Delonte West can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but he still doesn’t have a target date for his return from a gruesomely fractured right ring finger.

West got the pins removed from the surgically repaired finger Friday. He’ll have another X-ray early this week and hopes that shows significant enough bone growth for him to return to practice.

“I’ll probably have a solid week of on-court conditioning and ball movement and moving this hand and see where we stand,” said West, who has been out since Feb. 15. “I’m not sure about my ability to get back just yet, but if it was up to me, I’d be trying to suit up tonight.”

The fingers in West’s right hand, which had been in a cast for a month, are extremely stiff. He hopes that stiffness subsides in a matter of days.

West averaged 8.3 points and 3.4 assists in 22.7 minutes during 29 games before he was injured. He plays both guard spots and provides a defensive tenaciousness that the Mavs have missed.

Rodrigue Beaubois has excelled in his expanded role recently, so coach Rick Carlisle could have some difficult decisions to make about the rotation when West returns. That’s a problem the Mavs look forward to having.