Mavs' Terry says return will be soon
What remains unclear is when he will again be the first man off the bench for Dallas.
"Well, I can go tonight, but I don't think the doctor is going to let me," Terry said with one of his characteristic grins Thursday night before the Mavericks' home game against Boston. "It's going to be sooner than later. We'll come out after the [All-Star] break and see how I am next week and hopefully start shooting, get back out there."
After getting hurt in the second quarter Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls, Terry optimistically said he hoped to be back in three weeks. The Mavs haven't put a timetable on his return since the surgery Monday to stabilize the break in his non-shooting hand.
Terry, the Mavs' second-leading scorer (19.9 points a game), said he got hurt when his hand got caught up in the jersey of teammate J.J. Barea, or maybe a Chicago player, while going for a loose ball. Terry described the injury as "a twist fracture" where his hand twisted and snapped, though he played the rest of the half.
"It was just an unfortunate play. It sounds like a freak accident," Terry said. "I knew something was wrong. I felt a sharp pain. ... You could feel it throbbing. It didn't swell up too bad but it was a red mark, which I knew something was wrong."
With Terry out, coach Rick Carlisle is being forced to use several different players to fill the void.
"A guaranteed 20 points off your bench, that's like gold in this league. ... We've got to have a lot of guys step up," Carlisle said. "You're losing not only a terrific player, but you're losing one of the real compelling personalities on our team."
Terry smiled while greeting teammates in the locker room.
Including the two games this week, Terry has missed only 14 games in his 10 NBA seasons. Only Philadelphia's Andre Miller (five) has missed fewer games in that same span.
"It's tough. This is the first time it's happened in my career that I've had injury that's been major," Terry said. "I call this major, but I don't think it's going to be that serious. I haven't missed this much time. It's obviously an adjustment for me, but just staying positive, staying around the guys is going to help me."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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