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Rick Carlisle to miss game after knee injury

Dec 25, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

The Mavs have announced that Rick Carlisle will miss Monday night’s Mavericks game in Oklahoma City after knee surgery over the Christmas holiday.

Carlisle’s having a rough year, health wise. He missed a game in preseason after fainting in practice. He actually spent some time in the hospital during that episode, and now will miss more time after minor surgery on his left knee.

Carlisle’s health issues make the job he’s done this season all the more impressive. He’s helped lead the Mavericks to a 23-5 start (and yet they’re still behind the Spurs for the division!), and have impressive wins over several top teams in the league. Carlisle has to be considered an early season coach of the year candidate. His team has been even-handed in most of their games, consistently performing, though the team is only fifth in point differential.

Carlisle is expected to return for Tuesday’s game against Toronto. Assistant coach Dwane Casey will take the reins when the Mavericks try to topple the Thunder Monday night.

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