Kaman hurts back in Mavericks' first practice

DALLAS -- It didn't take long for the Dallas Mavericks to have their first training camp causality.

Chris Kaman, who is expected to be the Mavericks' starting center this season, sprained his lower back during Saturday's first practice session at American Airlines Center. Mavericks officials said the injury isn't serious, but it did limit Kaman's workout duties.

"Kaman went out with a sprained lower back, but not considered serious ...but it's enough to keep him out of about half the practice this morning," coach Rick Carlisle said.

Other than Kaman, Carlisle acknowledged that the other 17 players in the Mavericks' training camp looked physically fit.

Carlisle was especially please with the physical conditions of 34-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, 34-year-old Shawn Marion, 35-year-old Vince Carter and 33-year-old Elton Brand

"Dirk, Marion, Carter, Brand -- those guys are in great shape for this time of year," Carlisle said. "When you've got guys -- proven star-type players like that -- that come in ready, that sets a great tone."

Missing friends

Add Mavericks forward Shawn Marion to the growing list of returning players who were sad that Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are not back with the team.

"We're bonded together for life," Marion said. "I wish them the best in their new careers and new starts with different teams. But it's not about them. It's about us now. So it is what it is."

Terry signed a three-year, $15.7 million free-agent contract with the Boston Celtics this past summer. Kidd verbally said he was going to re-sign with the Mavericks, but changed his mind and signed a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract with the New York Knicks.

Kidd and Terry played key roles in the Mavericks' 2011 NBA championship run.

Doctor signs

The Mavericks gave Dr. T.O. Souryal a five-year contract extension as team physician Saturday.

Souryal, entering his 20th season with the team, also is the medical director at the Texas Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Group.

Souryal was recently named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 1 percent of orthopedic surgeons in the country.

"I am grateful to [owner] Mark Cuban and the entire Mavericks organization for giving me this opportunity to work with such an elite organization," Souryal said. "The cutting edge technology that we use with the Mavericks players is a benefit to all my patients."

Energy packed

What stood out the most in guard Dahntay Jones' first practice with the Mavericks was the team's overall energy level.

"It's always good when you have an energetic group who's ready to get started," Jones said. "Everybody's energy level was high, and everybody was excited about being here.''

As far as what Mavericks fans can expect from their team this season, Jones said: "A fast tempo, a great defensive team and a team that's going to play hard for 48 minutes."

The Mavericks acquired point guard Darren Collison and Jones in a trade July 12 with the Indiana Pacers for center Ian Mahinmi.

New additions

The team is a bit different with eight new players, but forward Shawn Marion likes what he's seen so far.

"We've got some great additions, we've got some great guys and we've got to push that rock," Marion said. "We've got some youth in here."

Marion is especially pleased with the caliber of talent of the younger players.

"I can see the excitement in these young guys," he said. "They're real hungry and I like that. When you see young guys and they're hungry and they want to compete, that's what it's about."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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