Rodrigue Beaubois back at practice
DALLAS -- After five exasperating months dealing with a broken foot, Rodrigue Beaubois participated in his first full practice Tuesday morning. The second-year Dallas Mavericks guard, however, will not play on the upcoming three-game road trip and a return before the All-Star break is uncertain.
Still, having Beaubois back on the practice floor, even for Tuesday's abbreviated 45-minute session, is a long-awaited milestone for him and the team.
"It is a big step. It had been a long time," Beaubois said. "Even though it was a short practice, it was good to be with the guys and practice. It is a really big step."
So when will Beaubois play?
"Definitely soon," he said. "I cannot tell you when exactly because it was my first practice. I have to play a couple of practices and see how it is. As soon as it is good I am going to come back and play."
He won't travel with the team to Sacramento or Denver, but he could join the Mavs in Houston for Saturday's cap to the road trip, although coach Rick Carlisle ruled him out of that game as well.
The Mavs then have three days off, two of which will be practice days before a back-to-back leads into All-Star Weekend. Those two games, starting at home Feb. 16 with Sacramento, could be a realistic target.
"We have two practice days the following week then we'll see where we are," Carlisle said. "He's a ways away, but he continues to make progress. We're encouraged."
Tuesday's practice consisted of work on transition defense -- a sore spot for Carlisle after Dallas allowed 34 fast-break points in the 99-96 scare against the Cleveland Cavaliers -- and a short scrimmage.
"Roddy looked good; Roddy's as quick as ever," Mavs guard Jason Terry said. "That's the thing that sets him apart from other guards in this league is speed and quickness. Add to the fact that he can shoot the ball with the best of them, hey, he's going to be a force. He's going to be a presence for us."
Beaubois fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot in early August while practicing with the French national team. He had surgery days later. Initially, the team believed Beaubois might return by the season opener or shortly thereafter. However, complications with the healing process in October set back his recovery time by months.
With the Mavs headed back on the road, Beaubois will continue similar individual workouts as he had last week, when he stayed behind with Peja Stojakovic, often putting in two workouts a day designed to build up his conditioning.
Rookie Dominique Jones is expected to miss quite a bit of time with a stress fracture in his foot. He was to be examined by team doctor T.O. Souryal on Tuesday. When and how Jones injured his foot is uncertain.
Beaubois, who will turn 23 on Feb. 24, said he felt good after the short practice, but that he would need more rigorous practices to truly test his foot.
"I cannot give you a conclusion from this practice because it wasn't a big practice," Beaubois said. "I need at least a couple more and I will be able to tell you guys what I can do. Right now I feel good."
Last season, Beaubois played in 56 games and averaged 7.1 points.
Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.
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