He will travel with the team Wednesday when they leave for their lone back-to-back-to-back of the season, although his return date is not certain. Haywood injured the ankle in the opening minute of Monday's loss at Oklahoma City when he landed on the foot of Thunder forward Kendrick Perkins.
"This is not considered a massively serious ankle injury, but he's got swelling and we've got to deal with it until it's right," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Hopefully, it won't be long term."
The news isn't so good for backup center Brandan Wright, who will miss his third consecutive game Tuesday night with a concussion he sustained Friday at New Orleans. Symptoms still have not completely subsided and he will not travel on the three-game swing to Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State, Carlisle said.
Without their top two centers, Ian Mahinmi, who passed by Wright in the rotation over the last few weeks, now becomes the man in the middle against Chandler. Mahinmi took over Monday night at Oklahoma City after Haywood left the game just 31 seconds in. Mahinmi had a strong performance with 13 points and five rebounds before fouling out on a controversial call with 46 seconds to play.
"He was terrific (Monday) night. He did what he does," Carlisle said. "He was terrific the first month of the season and as Brandan Wright sort of came into the picture his minutes got cut a little bit and it got tougher for him. Right now we don't have neither Haywood nor Wright, so we're going to have to figure out who backs up Ian."
Behind Mahinmi things do get tricky. Sean Williams was recalled from the D-League on Sunday, but he logged less than four minutes at Oklahoma City, coming in only after Mahinmi picked up his fifth foul in the fourth quarter. Seven-foot forward Yi Jianlian also played a few minutes at center and could again Tuesday night.
Before Tuesday's game, Chandler, the Mavs defensive anchor and vocal leader on last season's title team, will collect his championship ring in a brief ceremony with Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban.
Jeff Caplan covers the Dallas Mavericks for ESPNDallas.