"We need help at point guard," Carlisle said. "I found out on the way over here that Collison would be out, and we were fortunate to get (Jared) Cunningham active.
"We feel (Fisher) can help us. It's not a cure-all to all of our team challenges, but his expertise and experience will help."
Third-year guard Dominique Jones started for the second straight game at the position, getting 10 points and five assists in 24 minutes. Rodrigue Beaubois also saw time at the position.
The 38-year-old Fisher has won five titles, all with the Los Angeles Lakers, during his 16 NBA seasons. He played in all 20 of Oklahoma City's playoff games last season as the Thunder made the finals.
"We're just struggling a little bit right now," center Chris Kaman said. "Having Fisher come in tomorrow could help. Having a vet come in like that is great, who can help some of our young guys."
Fisher is a stout defender who has averaged 8.6 points over his career. He will rank fifth among all active players in games played when he takes the court for Dallas.
Fisher is the current president of the NBA Players Association and was a prominent figure in last season's lockout that limited the season to 66 games.
Dallas will have to release one of its current 15 players to make room for Fisher. The Mavericks (7-9) have played the entire season without star forward Dirk Nowitzki as the former NBA MVP recovers from right knee surgery.