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Dirk Nowitzki played for the first time since having knee surgery as the Spurs dominated in a severely lopsided game.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki could be back on the court for the first time this season.
Nowitzki has not played or practiced with the team since undergoing knee surgery in training camp.
Swelling in the 11-time All-Star's knee delayed his rehabilitation and has the forward thinking that a mid-December return to action is unlikely.
The Dallas Mavericks are expecting forward Dirk Nowitzki to return from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in three weeks, rather than the original expectation of six weeks, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.
Nowitzki, bothered by soreness and swelling in the knee for most of the preseason, underwent surgery on Friday with the team announcing a timetable for his return to be around six weeks. MacMahon reports, however, that the team is optimistic after the surgery for a much quicker return.
The typical timetable to return from such an operation is three to six weeks. As Nowitzki noted last week, he's been a quick healer in the past, coming back from several ankle sprains sooner than normal.
Sources said the Mavs' medical staff was encouraged by the routine nature of Nowitzki's knee scope. The hope is that the 34-year-old will respond well to rehab and could possibly miss only two weeks of the regular season.
The star forward had to take four games off last season due to soreness in the knee and conditioning concerns, and had to have the knee drained twice this preseason before opting for surgery.
The Mavericks are 2-3 so far in the preseason without Nowitzki, with three games remaining before the season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 30.
Dirk Nowitzki had arthroscopic surgery Friday on his bothersome right knee, which is expected to keep him on the sidelines for six weeks. The Dallas Mavericks forward will surely miss the beginning of the season now, which is a major blow for a team that many already thought would have a battle on its hands to make the playoffs.
But the Mavs have no reason to panic. While they are expecting Nowitzki to be out for six weeks, the procedure usually requires four to six weeks of recovery time, so there is the possibility of an earlier return. Also, even if he does miss six weeks, he will only miss 16 games. That leaves him 66 games to play, which is a fair number for a 34-year-old.
Mavs Moneyball isn't panicking about Nowitzki's absence either. While they would undoubtedly prefer he be healthy, the Mavericks are hardly in panic mode and a big part of that is their schedule in the 16 games that Nowitzki is expected to miss.
Better news for the Mavericks is who they play in that span. While this includes two games against the Lakers (although don't be surprised, if all goes well, if Dirk suits up for the Nov 24th game), it also includes two games against the Bobcats, one against the decimated Blazers, the Raptors, the Wolves without (Kevin) Love and probably without Love and (Ricky) Rubio, the Wizards, the Cavs and the Warriors.
Even without Nowitzki, those are some very winnable games for the Mavs. If they can just manage to get through Nowitzki's injury, which looks doable considering the schedule, they should be in fine shape to make yet another run at the playoffs.
Does Dirk Nowitzki's injury put the Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes in jeopardy?
Following surgery on Friday morning, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will miss at least six weeks.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki sat out his third preseason game in a row on Wednesday night in an ongoing attempt to rest his swollen right knee and avoid potential surgery as the NBA regular season looms.
Instead of playing, Nowitzki has been doing cardio workouts alongside Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who said his All-Star franchise centerpiece will "be just fine" in a report by Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday.
While surgery on Nowitzki's sore knee remains a possibility in the coming weeks if it isn't healing properly, Cuban is leaving the decision in the hands of the forward and the team's experts, saying in the report, "I trust our medical staff. Whatever is going to happen, we're going to be fine."
When asked why he wasn't overly worried about Nowitzki's knee, Cuban had this to say in the report:
"Because he's gone through it before. He went through it earlier in his career with his ankle. Now, his knee, we saw it last year, and we dealt with it. We'll deal with it again this year. That's why we invested in the best medical and training staff in the league."
Nowitzki averaged 21.6 points per game -- his lowest mark in the last nine years -- last season. He also grabbed 6.8 rebounds and dished 2.2 assists per game in 62 regular season contests. The Mavericks begin their 2012-13 campaign Oct. 30 in Los Angeles against the new-look Lakers.
Their next exhibition contest is Saturday, Oct. 20, against the Atlanta Hawks.
"There was less swelling in there again," Nowitzki said. "The good news is it's not as much as it was last week in Barcelona.
"I guess that's a little positive, but I'm going to see if it does any better the next couple of days before I do another decision."
Nowitzki has been working through knee pain for almost all of training camp. The former first-round pick missed the last two preseason games because of the injury.
The surgery would put Nowitzki, 34, on the shelf for three to six weeks, he said.
Nowitzki has continually had problems in the same knee. He missed four games last season with soreness and swelling. He also had his knee drained twice last season.
The 14-year star played in 62 games for the Mavericks last season. He averaged 21.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game -- his lowest marks since the 1999-2000 season.
Dirk Nowitzki said his knee had swelled again after he was forced to sit out of Monday's game against the Houston Rockets.
The Dallas Mavericks power forward will miss Monday's game against the Houston Rockets.
According to the Star-Telegram, the Mavs' leading offensive threat feels he's in better shape and has strengthened his leg around the knee, but continues to deal with swelling and soreness as he prepares to begin his 15th NBA season. By now, Nowitzki is used to dealing with his knee as long as he doesn't do further damage:
"Obviously, I'm a year older than last year. Other than that, I think the only difference is my leg strength this year is actually really good.
"So hopefully it'll be OK from here on out.''
Nowitzki only missed four games last season due to the knee injury, but he had fluid drained to reduce swelling twice. While Nowitzki hopes the swelling eventually goes away, he's had the knee drained twice already during training camp.
Last season, Nowtizki led the Mavericks with 21.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game which were his lowest totals since his second year in the league.
Dallas Mavericks star power forward Dirk Nowitzki participated in the team's practice on Friday despite having his right knee drained for the second time this month, according to a report from ESPN Dallas.
Nowitzki sat out the Mavericks' preseason game against Barcelona Regal in Spain on Tuesday because of the bothersome knee, and it's believed that should the soreness and swelling continue, arthroscopic surgery might be necessary. The 14-year veteran indicated that he'd like to have a decision made by next week.
"Probably the sooner, the better if we decide [surgery]," said Nowitzki to ESPN Dallas. Dirk emphasized weight training with his legs during the offseason in an attempt to avoid knee problems. "I don't want to wait until October 30th and then have a scope. That's pretty obvious."
Nowitzki is coming off his worst year since his second year in the league, and has never missed more than nine games in a season.
Dallas opens the NBA regular season on Oct. 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
Nowitzki sat out Tuesday's exhibition in Spain against FC Barcelona Regal with a swollen right knee, with reports stating that the forward could opt to have arthroscopic surgery on the knee prior to the season. The decision for surgery was expected to come soon, as having surgery sooner than later would mean a quicker return to the court.
This is the second consecutive season in which Nowitzki has gone through training camp with a sore right knee, an injury that plagued the veteran for much of the first half of last season. The injury affected Nowitzki's conditioning and training and had a detrimental effect on his performance for most of the first part of the year.
The Mavericks open the season on Oct. 30 in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki has a sore, swollen right knee for the second consecutive training camp. Nowitzki might opt to have arthroscopic surgery before the season begins, and the sooner he and the Mavericks can make that decision, he says the better, according to The Dallas Morning News:
"We'll see how it responds. But the longer we wait, obviously the worse it is. If we have to do something, it'd be better to do it quick."
Nowitzki sat out Tuesday's exhibition in Spain against FC Barcelona Regal. Nowitzki played through similar pain last season, and it hampered him so much that he had his worst statistical season since 1999-2000. He also needed four games off to improve his conditioning and get treatment on the knee.
Should Nowitzki, 34, have surgery in the next week, it is possible that he could return for Dallas' Oct. 30 opener in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Dirk also says that this year his legs are "actually pretty strong." Nowitzki's conditioning after returning from the lockout last year was often called into question. This season, Nowitzki needs to be at full strength for the Mavericks to contend in the deep Western Conference.
For the second straight training camp, Dirk Nowitzki is playing with a knee injury.