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Dorian Finney-Smith could see game action this weekend, per Rick Carlisle

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The versatile forward has been on the shelf since mid-November but could return for the homestretch.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Dallas Mavericks Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks head coach Carlisle expressed optimism Thursday that Dorian Finney-Smith would be available this weekend, via Dwain Price of Mavs.com:

Finney-Smith has been sidelined with a left quadriceps tendinitis injury since November 12. The second-year forward had been battling the injury since training camp and missed a handful of games early in the season before Carlisle officially announced he would be “out for a while” on November 14.

Finney-Smith’s official return has been murky. Carlisle told reporters in early December he could be “back to 100 percent” within the month, but that never came to fruition. In February, Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson simply expressed hope that he would play this season while addressing members of the media after the trade deadline.

Last season, Finney-Smith was a productive, undrafted rookie appearing in 81 games for the Mavericks. He averaged four points and three rebounds playing 20 minutes per night, but his true impact came on the defensive end where he used his length to pester the opposition. He never was able to find his rhythm in the eight games he has appeared this season averaging 11 minutes and three points per game.

Though the Mavs lack wing depth, it’s hard to envision Finney-Smith getting serious burn in the last 17 games of the season. With Doug McDermott looking like a perfect fit at the three/small-ball four, Finney-Smith will likely have to push Kyle Collinsworth for potential playing time.

The last month and half could be crucial for Finney-Smith’s future in Dallas as the Mavs have a team option on his final year. At the very least, he could provide Dallas with a fresh body to board the tank.