'I'm Ready To Go': Mavs' Christian Wood Speaks as Injury Return Looms
The Dallas Mavericks are set to begin a challenging five-game Western Conference road trip with a matchup against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. Will Christian Wood be able to return to the lineup during this upcoming stretch?
Before the Mavs' 111-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, coach Jason Kidd explained to reporters that Wood has a "better chance" of playing during the upcoming road trip compared to Maxi Kleber — exclaiming that you "can't rule out" Wood returning to the lineup at some point.
Wood participated in 5-on-5 action during Friday's practice. He had little issue using his left hand, the one that sustained a fractured thumb. In his media availability, he told reporters: "I'm ready to go."
Wood clarified that he unlikely to play on Saturday against the Warriors, but has a higher probability of returning to the lineup either Monday against the Utah Jazz, or Wednesday against the LA Clippers.
Wood has been sidelined for the Mavs' previous seven games since sustaining his injury. There have been clear struggles to consistently generate sufficient production offensively outside of Doncic's individual excellence. While Spencer Dinwiddie had a hot two-game stretch with Doncic out, not having a more layered attack as a unit has proved limiting.
As far as Doncic's foot injury is concerned, he did not participate in Friday's practice and underwent an MRI. The injury isn't believed to be significant, so he is unlikely to face a lengthy timetable to return.
“We’ve got to figure it out. Hopefully we might get C Wood back. … That’d be a nice piece to add without Luka playing,” Mavs forward Dorian Finney Smith said after Friday's practice.
Wood is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season barring an unlikely contract extension agreement being reached. He is averaging 18.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game.