Don't expect Caron Butler to make a dramatic return to the Dallas Mavericks just in time to face the Miami Heat in the NBA finals.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Friday that Butler's availability for this series is ''unlikely, but I'm not sure.''
Butler has been out since tearing a tendon in his right knee on Jan. 1. He was averaging 14 points and 4.1 rebounds in almost 30 minutes per game. He averaged 18 points in Dallas' two regular-season wins over Miami.
Since surgery, he has said he hoped to return during the postseason. He often has been on the court shooting after practices, but has not been fully cleared by team doctors.