Dirk Nowitzki again plagued by knee issues, could opt for surgery
The Dallas Mavericks sat out Dirk Nowitzki in their second exhibition game of the season against Spain’s FC Barcelona Regal on Tuesday after the power forward developed a sore and swollen in his right knee.
However, this time around instead of wasting the initial two months of the season, battling with the injury, Dirk Nowitzki is opting for a minor arthroscopic knee surgery.
"I think last year I dealt with it and we did some treatment twice, and after that the swelling didn't come back for the rest of the season," said Dirk Nowitzki. "I'm hoping the same for this year.”
However, the Dallas Mavericks will also explore other options prior to the surgery.
The Dallas Mavericks have already found a temporary replacement at the spot in backup Elton Brand. Still, Dirk Nowitzki’s absence could potentially break the rhythm of the Dallas Mavericks, who added a lot of young players to the roster this season that are still struggling to build chemistry.
"Just the body has got to get used to all the running and jumping again,” stated Dirk Nowitzki, “and hopefully it'll respond here in the next week or so and then I'll play throughout the whole season.”
“But we kind of have to wait [and see] how it's going to respond next week,” added Dirk Nowitzki.
For now, the Dallas Mavericks are keeping a cautious eye on Dirk Nowitzki’s progress henceforth.
"I mean, he's got right knee swelling and we decided not to play him (against FC Barcelona Regal),” stated Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. “We're monitoring it (the knee) very closely."
Last season Rick Carlisle was so concerned by Dirk Nowitzki’s knee condition that he sat out the power forward during four games to allow him to strengthen his knees.
Despite taking a slow start last season Dirk Nowitzki made his 11th consecutive All-Star Game appearance. However, due to the knee issue, he had posted the lowest scoring average (21.6 points per game) since his second year in the league. And with just 33.5 minutes per game last season, Dirk Nowitzki recorded his second lowest average since the rookie season (20.4 minutes).
In fact, last summer Dirk Nowitzki’s knee issues kept him from even stepping on the court to practice. This summer, Dirk Nowitzki has been working on conditioning with his coach Holger Geschwindner in Germany.
"You know, actually I'm training with Holger the last four weeks before I came over (and the knee) was fine -- no swelling at all,” revealed Dirk Nowitzki. :But I guess you can't simulate practice and the first couple of games and scrimmages and stuff."
The 34-year-old Dirk Nowitzki believes his knee issues won’t be as serious as last year and he will immediately bounce back from surgery early in the season.
“The good thing, or different thing, this year is that my legs are actually pretty strong,” claimed Dirk Nowitzki. “I lifted all through the summer. So hopefully this is just temporary.”