Maybe Wesley Matthews needs to change his nickname from Iron Man to Wolverine in honor of his remarkable healing ability. Just eight months after he tore his Achilles, Matthews will make his Dallas Mavericks debut on Friday night against the Chicago Bulls.
That’s a remarkable recovery from Matthews who, before the tear, had a reputation for being one of the toughest players in the league. At the time of his injury, he had played in 250-straight games, one of the longest active streaks in the league. In September, Rick Carlisle hinted that Matthews wouldn’t make his Mavericks debut until much later in the season, maybe around Christmas. Perhaps Carlisle was just trying to temper expectations.
While it’s terrific news that Matthews is feeling well enough to play, he’s still due a significant adjustment period. This will be the first game Matthews has played since the injury. Not only will he need time to re-acclimate to the speed of the game, but time to adjust to his new teammates, too.
The Mavericks will probably bring the 29-year-old along slowly this season, playing him in short spurts to ensure he doesn’t overexert himself. They’ve invested a lot money in Matthews, and there’s absolutely no reason to rush his recovery.