GRAPEVINE Once again, the Dallas Mavericks were without Dirk Nowitzki's backup forward Lamar Odom for the team's Tuesday night game in Memphis.

The Mavericks lost that contest 96-85 after Nowitzki left with back problems and the team has now dropped three in a row.

Odom has now been out of the Dallas lineup for more than a week, but the reason officially remains a mystery.

Team owner Mark Cuban was at the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine Thursday morning to address a business conference. He declined to speak on camera about Odom's extended absence.

Off-camera, Cuban told News 8 that he has spoken to Odom on Wednesday and again on Thursday and confirmed that the former Lakers star will be returning to the Mavericks lineup but he wouldn't say when.

Initial reports indicated that Odom was taking time off to tend to his ailing father; it was the same day the Mavericks faced his former team.

There is still an expectation of an official announcement about Odom's status Thursday in New Orleans, where the Mavs will play their next game and where Mark Cuban was headed after his Grapevine appearance.


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