Howard could be back for Houston

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he expects swingman Josh Howard to play within two weeks.

"I think it'll be two weeks at the latest," Cuban said while working out on his StairMaster before Tuesday night's opener against the Washington Wizards.

That would put Howard, who is recovering from operations on his left ankle and wrist, on track to play in the Mavericks' seventh game of the season. Dallas plays the Houston Rockets on Nov. 10, the beginning of a stretch of five games in seven days.

Howard had the surgeries done May 22. He was cleared for contact drills two weeks ago, but the ankle has prevented him from completing a complete practice. Cuban described Howard's recovery as "on schedule."

"We didn't want to rush him," Cuban said. "You could have pushed him harder, but there was no reason to. You just let him come. When he's ready, he's ready. It's a long season."

Tim MacMahon covers the Dallas Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. E-mail him at tim.macmahon@espn3.com.