Shane Larkin close to making Mavericks debut

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks rookie guard Shane Larkin is finally almost ready to play his first NBA game.

Dallas Mavericks point guard Shane Larkin is nearing a return to the court. The rookie broke his ankle in July practicing with Dallas' summer league team and had to have surgery. He missed summer league, didn't participate in training camp and finally returned to practice with the Mavericks two weeks ago. Larkin told Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com that he is getting closer to appearing in a professional game:

"It may be today. It may be on Wednesday. Maybe Friday. I've just got to talk to the trainer. Whenever they give me the OK is when I'll go," Larkin explained. "I feel good. After the first practice it was sore, but I've practiced a couple of times since then, so my ankle is getting back to the pounding. I'm feeling good.

"I'm really anxious. It's been a long time coming. It's been my life-long dream just to play in the NBA. I'm here now practicing. Now, the next step is to play in an NBA game."

The No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft will likely be integrated slowly. Fellow rookie Gal Mekel has been handling backup duty behind Jose Caldeon and Larkin understands that playing time won't just be handed to him, as told to Sneed in a video interview:

"I have to earn everything that I'm given," Larkin said. "But I'm really anxious to get out there. I would like to be in the rotation already but I'll be coming off an injury, Gal's been playing well, so it's just a matter of me getting out there and whenever I get time, whether it's at the end of the game, middle of the game, two minutes here, a minute there, I just gotta go out there and be solid."

Dallas will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Seven of the Mavericks' next nine games are at home they are 4-0 at American Airlines Center so far this season.

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