Wesley Matthews hopes to play Friday against Bulls

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On March 5, Wesley Matthews suffered a torn left Achilles that sidelined him for the rest of the Portland Trail Blazers’ season. Over the summer, he signed a four-year, $70 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks, even though there was no clear timeframe for his return to the court after one of the worst injuries a basketball player can have. But it looks like he might be back on the floor sooner than anybody thought. Head coach Rick Carlisle says there’s a chance the seventh-year shooting guard plays in the Mavs’ preseason finale on Friday against the Bulls.

Via Mavs.com:

The Mavs’ prized offseason acquisition, shooting guard Wesley Matthews, could be back in action as soon as this preseason, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said.

“I don’t know that he’s been completely ruled out,” Carlisle said, “so it could be possible. But I don’t know that for sure.”

Matthews, who spent the summer recovering from a ruptured Achilles he suffered in March, has maintained since signing with the team that he’ll be ready by opening night. Understandably, some might not have taken “Iron Man” for his word, as players who suffered similar injuries in the past took up to a year or longer to fully recover. But advances in medicine combined with Matthews’ incredible work ethic have led us to the potential end of his road to recovery, and the beginning of his career with the Mavericks.

Matthews participated in a three-on-three scrimmage that also featured fellow injured Mavericks Deron Williams, Chandler Parsons and JaVale McGee. It would be a surprise if Matthews actually played this week — the Pistons’ Brandon Jennings suffered the same injury six weeks before Matthews, and Detroit doesn’t expect him back until around Christmas — but Matthews’ work ethic certainly makes it possible that he’s already back in playing shape. And the Mavericks have one of the most highly regarded medical staffs in the NBA, so if they clear him, he should be good to go. When he’s healthy, Matthews is one of the best two-way wings in the league, a lights-out three-point shooter and tough defender. Players coming off an Achilles tear don’t have the best track record of being able to be the players they were before; hopefully Matthews is an exception.