Calderon close to return as Mavs fall to Magic

The official word is that point guard Jose Calderon will make his debut with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C.

That’s when the Mavs will play their fifth of eight preseason games, this time against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Calderon missed his third game Monday as the Mavs lost to the Orlando Magic 102-94 at the American Airlines Center. The nine-year veteran hopes to go through a full practice session today and then sit out Wednesday’s game at Indiana before preparing to play against the Bobcats.

“I think I’ll be able to do more with the team [today],” Calderon said before Monday’s game against Orlando. “But if I start practicing, just playing in Indiana doesn’t make any sense — just going right away to full speed.”

Calderon strained his left hamstring Oct. 5 in practice and since has been relegated to semi-light duty. But he believes he won’t be behind in developing any chemistry with his new teammates once he returns to the court.

More importantly, Calderon notes there’s plenty of time for him to get in sync before the Mavs open the regular season Oct. 30 at home against the Atlanta Hawks.

“When you are with guys that know how to play basketball, everything is easier,” Calderon said. “It’s not only going to be just three-four [preseason] games.

“We’ve got a lot of practices until the 30th, so it’s going to be enough for sure to get ready and to get everybody on the same page. I can’t wait to start playing a little bit with the jersey on for sure.”

While playing against the Magic without Calderon, Dirk Nowitzki (24 points, three blocks) and Monta Ellis (16 points, five assists) paced the Mavs (1-2). Calderon’s replacement, rookie Gal Mekel, finished with eight points, six assists and five turnovers. He now has 14 turnovers in three games.

Wright stays positive

In his first interview since discovering last Thursday that he’ll be sidelined indefinitely with a small non-displaced fracture of his left shoulder, center/power forward Brandan Wright is hopeful of being ready for the Mavs’regular season opener.

“I’m just taking it day by day really and see where it goes,” Wright said. “This is just a healing thing, that’s all it is.

“You know how it is with bone — that’s what it comes down to.”

Wright suffered the injury in practice on Oct. 8 and subsequently missed the past two games.

“It’s a little frustrating, but at the same time I’ve been in this for a long time and I know what I need to do to get ready to come back, and that’s the goal,” Wright said. “I’m not really concerned, I’m not down on myself, I’m just going to keep working to get better.”

Ebanks suspended

The NBA suspended forward Devin Ebanks for two games without pay for pleading no contest to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Ebanks, who has a non-guaranteed contract with the Mavs, won’t play in the first two regular season games in which he’s eligible and physically able to play. Ebanks is a long-shot to make the Mavs’ final 15-man regular season roster.