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Howard is iffy; Gooden ready to return

Updated: January 12, 2010, 2:59 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Mavericks swingman Josh Howard returned to practice Monday after sitting out Saturday's home loss to Utah with a bruised left thigh. Still, coach Rick Carlisle took a cautionary stance regarding Howard's availability for the Los Angeles Lakers' first visit of the season to American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

"It's only Monday," Carlisle said. "We don't take anything for granted with health, but he did practice today and did well. We'll see what's what tomorrow and then on Wednesday."

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