Dirk Nowitzki injury: Mavericks forward twists ankle, returns for third quarter

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavs star twisted his ankle, but returned for the second half.

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki twisted his ankle in the half against the the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday but returned for the start of the third quarter.

The injury occurred in the second quarter when the former MVP stepped on Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts' foot, subsequently twisting his ankle awkwardly. He limped off the floor in obvious pain.

Prior to the sustaining the ankle injury, Nowitzki scored two points on 1-of-2 from the field and added three rebounds and one assist. Going into the game on Tuesday night, the Mavs are riding a five-game winning streak, so any sustained absence of their best player will put them in jeopardy of losing their momentum.

In 50 games in the 2013-14 season, the veteran is averaging 21.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per contest while posting a 24.6 player efficiency rating (via ESPN.com), showing no signs of slowing down. After missing the postseason last year, the Mavs are in the playoff hunt and currently hold the No. 8 seed. They'll need Nowitzki on the floor down the stretch in order to keep pace in the competitive Western Conference.

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