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Mavs' Chandler returns from ankle injury

NEW ORLEANS -- Dallas Mavericks starting center Tyson Chandler took his pregame warmups and declared himself ready to play tonight against the New Orleans Hornets.

Chandler missed the last three games with a sprained right ankle.

The Mavs will be without starting small forward Peja Stojakovic, who is dealing with neck and back spasms stemming from Tuesday's brief workout in Minneapolis.

Stojakovic, who has started all 13 games he's played with the Mavs since being signed Jan. 25, did not participate in the morning shootaround.

Prior to joining the Mavs, Stojakovic played in just eight games with the Hornets and Toronto Raptors because of knee problems.

"I was looking forward to staying healthy after the knee injury," Stojakovic said. "It's just something I have to deal with."

Chandler and Stojakovic were teammates in New Orleans for several seasons. Both are in their first seasons with the Mavericks.

Chandler is averaging 10.4 points and 9.4 rebounds.

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.