LAS VEGAS — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Shane Larkin took the first step toward getting back on the court Tuesday when he underwent successful surgery to repair his broken right ankle.Mavs team physicians Dr. T.O. Souryal and Dr. Richard Levy performed the surgery at Texas Sports Medicine in Dallas. Larkin is expected to be out approximately three months, which means he might not return until the middle of training camp.Larkin suffered the injury Friday in the Mavs’ final practice before they left to compete in the Las Vegas Summer League. Chosen No. 18 overall in last month’s NBA Draft, Larkin came to the Mavs with much fanfare.Last season Larkin led the Miami Hurricanes to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships. He also was named ACC Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the ACC postseason tournament en route to being selected second-team All-America.Ledo languishedLast season when Ricky Ledo was without basketball, it really played tricks with his mind.After becoming one of the top 25 players in the country as a high school senior, Ledo enrolled at Providence, where he had expected to continue his budding basketball career.But the NCAA stepped in and ruled Ledo academically ineligible, forcing him to sit out the entire 2012-13 season. The time off didn’t sit well with Ledo, who was allowed to practice — but not play — with the Friars.“It was very hard,” Ledo, a rookie shooting guard, said on Tuesday. “You see all the people that you played against and the friends that you know, and you’re not playing.“It gets tough, but everything happens for a reason.”And the reason?“It’s in God’s hands,”’ he said. “Everything’s up to God.”James goes homeCenter Bernard James missed his second straight game Tuesday when he flew home because of personal reasons.The Mavs did not indicate whether James would return to the Las Vegas Summer League.In addition to skipping Tuesday’s game against the NBA D-League Select, James also missed Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats because of an illness.The Mavs were hoping James could use the summer league to stitch up some holes in his offensive game.Defensive stopper?Not only do the Mavs want Jae Crowder to score more than the five points he averaged last season as a rookie. They also have had discussions about him becoming more of a defensive stopper.“I love it,” Crowder said, referring to a question about his defensive prowess. “That’s what I feel like I can do.“If that’s what can get me on the court, then I’m down for it.”Center search The Mavs still are in the hunt to acquire centers Samuel Dalembert and Greg Oden, a source saidTalks have been ongoing in both cases, with the Mavs hoping for an agreement with one of the players by week’s end. Mavs officials met with Dalembert last week and with Oden on Monday.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice