After a mysterious week-long absence from the team for what is being described only as "personal matters", Lamar Odom is expected to return to the Dallas Mavericks at some point in the next few days.
According to a report from ESPN's Marc Stein, Odom and his agent met with Dallas owner Marc Cuban on Wednesday before the team's 96-85 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies to discuss a timetable for his eventual return.
While the issue has been widely discussed and gossiped about in the NBA blogosphere, the Mavericks have given no indication that they are anything but fully supportive of Odom, signaling that they are ready to welcome him with open arms when he is able to return to the court.
The Sixth Man of the Year in 2011, Odom has under-performed since Dallas acquired him from the LA Lakers with a 2012 first round pick and the trade exception created by signing-and-trading Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks.
Odom is averaging only 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds on 35% shooting, but a big part of his struggles come from the on-court transition from playing as a face-up power forward with LA to having to move to the small forward position with Dirk Nowitzki firmly entrenched at the 4.
Without Odom in the line-up, Dallas has gone 0-3, as their bench, which is also missing key spark-plug Delonte West, isn't nearly as dangerous offensively when they have to play Brian Cardinal or Yi Jianlian at the 4 or move Shawn Marion or Brandan Wright out of position when Dirk is off the floor.