It's nothing new for Josh Howard, but he's got another ache to get through as the Mavericks resume a disjointed four-game road trip New Year's Eve in Houston.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Wednesday that Howard tweaked his hamstring at Denver on Sunday and the Mavericks have been handling it gingerly since.
"He came back and played, but we held him out of contact (Tuesday),'' Carlisle said. "He did some things today, but we'll cross our fingers and hope he's OK.''
The good news is Howard's surgically repaired left ankle is holding up well.
Speaking of that ankle, it was in Houston last year that the ankle first became a serious problem, Carlisle said.
"Last year, we went to a breakfast meeting in Houston and Josh seemed fine,'' he said. "In the afternoon, his ankle blew up and he ended up missing 30 games. You can't assume anything with injuries. We're very aware of the importance of good health.''