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Dirk Nowitzki injury update: Mavericks' star doesn't expect to return in December

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.

Stephen Dunn

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki had hoped to return from arthroscopic surgery on his knee in mid-December, but after going through a light on-court workout on Wednesday, the 14-year veteran believes he will have to push his target date back, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning-News.

Nowitzki, who has been sidelined since undergoing surgery in mid-October, was limited to dribbling and running without full-speed running or cutting in his workout on Wednesday. Swelling in the knee pushed the 34-year-old's rehabilitation schedule back a bit further than he had hoped, and as a result, the speed of his recovery has slowed.

"We said from the beginning the only way I could get back on the court was when the swelling is gone and the quad strength is back. And so we got a long way to go."

The 11-time All-Star has been pleased with his recovery, but admitted that the slow road back has been frustrating.

"We increased the workload and it hasn't gotten worse," he said. "At least that shows we're going in the right direction. Unfortunately a lot later than I was hoping for."

Dallas could use Nowitzki back as soon as possible, as they've struggled to a 8-10 record in his absence and were blown out 112-90 by the Clippers on Wednesday night