Jason Kidd expected back Tuesday

Updated: April 10, 2012, 9:41 AM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd is expected to play Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings after the team went 1-3 with their floor leader sidelined by a strained right groin.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said Kidd will be under a tight minutes restriction against the Kings, although he was not specific as to his target goal. Carlisle has preferred to hold Kidd to 30 minutes or fewer while healthy.

"He's not going to play a full menu of minutes but I feel that's a positive," Carlisle said. "I made it very clear to our guys, particularly our guards, he's going to play limited minutes tomorrow and they're going to have to be ready."

Dallas has lost three of their last four games and has slipped to seventh in the Western Conference standings, just 1½ games ahead of ninth-place Phoenix, with nine games to play. Carlisle said Kidd's return Tuesday is not an act of desperation but solely because the 39-year-old is well enough to play.

"We wouldn't put him out there if there was risk," Carlisle said. "In this situation with him coming off of being out for a week and having something that was significant, we want to phase him in the right way."

Carlisle said Kidd practiced with the team on Monday, although he did not go through the full workout.

Kidd, one of the more durable players throughout his 18-year career, has missed time due to three injuries this season. He missed four games with back spasms, six with a strained right calf and the last four with the groin issue. He was also held out of the team's final game of their back-to-back-to-back last month.

The Mavs are 8-7 this season without Kidd in the lineup. It has not been a good statistical season for Kidd, who is averaging career lows of 5.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds.

Kidd did not make himself available to the media after Monday's practice, leaving the court through a side door along with Dirk Nowitzki as reporters sought comments from players regarding the Lamar Odom fallout.

The Mavs severed ties with the struggling forward on Monday morning. He will no longer be with the team although Dallas did not waive him.

As for Kidd, the hope is he can ignite a stagnant offense that twice in the last four games failed to produce 90 points.

"It's pretty obvious what he means to us," Carlisle said. "In his absence we've been able to win really more than our share of games if you look at the whole season. But, this past week it's been very tough, so getting him back is very important."

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