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Delonte West Takes Vince Carter's Spot On The Injured List

In what shouldn't be a huge surprise, a team stocked with veterans in their mid-30's has been unable to stay healthy during the compressed 66-game regular season.

Just as Vince Carter is set to return against the Utah Jazz Friday after missing five games with a foot injury, starting shooting guard Delonte West is likely out with a hamstring strain he suffered on Wednesday.

West is now the fourth key Maverick to hit the disabled list already this year, following Carter, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki.

Dallas has been able to stay afloat thanks to their improved depth, with Rodrigue Beaubois finally coming into his own in his third year in the Dallas back-court while Ian Mahinmi, Brandan Wright and Yi Jianlian have unexpectedly contributed up front.

The injuries could end up serving as a blessing in disguise come April, as the Mavericks will need some of their younger players, who have benefited from all the extra playing time, to to provide athleticism and energy in the playoffs.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.