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Rajon Rondo to play against Thunder on Thursday

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 28: Rajon Rondo #9 of the Dallas Mavericks in action during the NBA basketball match against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 28, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Rajon Rondo missed the Mavericks’ last six games, and there was concern he’d need surgery.

Apparently, the extended All-Star break put that worry to rest.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo returned to practice Tuesday and plans to play Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Dallas is still feeling out its offense with Rondo, and Amar’e Stoudemire will add another wrinkle.

The fifth-place Mavericks – one game out of third and one game ahead of seventh – will use Rondo to get as many rounds of home-court advantage as possible. More importantly, they’ll appreciate a chance to work on their chemistry with Rondo rather than having him sidelined as he recovers from surgery.

Dallas, like about eight Western Conference teams, could win a championship this season. The Mavericks aren’t playing at that level yet, but they have the tools to get there.