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Mavericks sign Bernard James

The Dallas Mavericks ‎have brought back big man Bernard James on a 10-day contract.

The team officially announced the move Wednesday.

The Mavericks were looking for a frontcourt player on a 10-day deal even before starting center Tyson Chandler suffered an ankle injury in Monday night's loss to the Los Angeles ‎Clippers.

James played this season in China after being released by the Mavericks in October but is available now that his contract with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks has run its course. Sources said Dallas is trying to secure the needed letter of clearance from FIBA -- basketball's international governing body -- to clear James to return to the NBA in time for Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz.

The Mavericks remain intent on signing center Jermaine O'Neal, but ESPN reported last week that the six-time All-Star is likely to delay his comeback until after the All-Star break as he continues to work his way back into NBA shape after focusing on business interests and family time for the first four-plus months of the season.

ESPN also reported last week that the Mavericks are the front-runners to sign another former All-Star -- New York Knicks big man Amar'e Stoudemire -- if he secures a buyout from the Knicks before March 1.

But Stoudemire isn't expected to become available, if at all, until after the Feb. 19 trade deadline as the Knicks exhaust every last option for dealing him and his $23.4 million contract.

The Mavericks' need for additional frontcourt depth has become urgent given the fact that Chandler is unlikely to play against the Jazz in the team's last game before the All-Star break.

After Wednesday night, thanks to the league's new extended All-Star break, Dallas doesn't play again ‎until Feb. 19 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Dallas selected James, 30, with the ‎33rd overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.