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Michael Carter-Williams Expected To Return Thursday Against Mavericks

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Michael Carter-Williams, the NBA's reigning rookie of the year, is expected to return for the Sixers Thursday night against the Mavericks.

Mitchell Leff

Michael Carter-Williams, who has been kept out of the Sixers first 7 games while working his way back from offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, is expected to return to the Sixers lineup tomorrow night against the Dallas Mavericks.

"I'm real anxious to be out there. Probably a little bit too anxious. I probably need to relax a little bit," Michael Carter-Williams said at practice on Wednesday. "But I'm excited. I can't wait to be out there."

Brown said that he would try to limit the minutes of Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, who hasn't played since November 5th due to a sprained left ankle. Noel is also expected to return against the Mavericks as well.

"I can categorically say it will be responsibly divvied out. We're not going to come back and say 'Oh, they played 38 minutes.' That won't happen," Brown said about the return of his two young players. "They shouldn't be put in a position to play extended minutes."

When asked whether Michael Carter-Williams would be in the starting lineup on Thursday, Brown said that he wasn't yet sure.

"I was hurt last year, and I was out a little bit, it took me about 1 or 2 games to get my feel back," Carter-Williams said about his return. "I hope it's the same thing [this time]."

But Carter-Williams didn't want to act as the teams savior.

"I don't want to make it a misconception of 'Now that we have everybody back, now is the time that we're to get better as far as winning'," Carter-Williams went on to say. "I think these guys, with what they've been doing on the floor, they've been playing really hard. We've lost 5 games in the last 8 minutes of the 4th quarter. I think it'll help us get over that hump a little bit, but these guys have been doing awesome."

Michael Carter-Williams, selected 11th in the 2013 NBA draft, became the first player selected 10th or lower in the draft to win rookie of the year since Mark Jackson won the award for the Knicks in 1987.

For Carter-Williams and Noel, two former AAU teammates, it will be their first professional game together. Noel, the 6th pick in the 2013 draft, missed the entire 2013-14 NBA season while recovering from an ACL injury he suffered during his freshman season at Kentucky.

After playing the Mavericks on Thursday, the Sixers will travel to Houston to take on the Rockets on Friday night, then finish up their Texas road trip against the Spurs on Monday. Those teams have a combined record of 15-7 overall and 7-3 at home.

The Sixers next home game is next Wednesday against the Boston Celtics.