Jason Kidd back in Mavs' lineup

Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd returned from a six-game absence with an eight-point, 10-assist, five-rebound, two-steal performance Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kidd had been sidelined by a right calf strain suffered Jan. 27 against the Utah Jazz.

Kidd, who turns 39 next month, had a back injury earlier this season and has missed 10 of the Mavericks' 26 games despite averaging a career-low 28.7 minutes per game. The 18-year veteran came in averaging career lows in scoring (4.1 points per game), assists (5.1), field goal percentage (.282) and 3-point percentage (.258).

The Mavs (15-11) are 7-3 without Kidd but clearly missed their floor general during a recent three-game losing streak, especially late in close losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers.

"We need our leader back," Mavs superstar Dirk Nowitzki said.

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.