Report: Nowitzki Weeks Away From Returning To The Court

Josh Clark
October 03, 2018 - 9:53 am
Dallas Mavericks center Dirk Nowitzki

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

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DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Dirk Nowitzki is weeks away from returning to the court, coach Rick Carlisle said following the team's practice in China, courtesy of Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

Nowitzki also said that tendons in his foot are sore and that everything is fine with his left ankle after he underwent surgery on it in the offseason.

"Those tendons didn't even get used for five or six years because of the bone spurs," Nowitzki said. "Now they're moving around and that's causing the soreness. The actual surgery area is fine."

According to Sefko, Nowitzki hasn't participated in any on-court activities since training camp started September 21, and he won't play at all this preseason.

"He won't do anything on this trip," Carlisle said. "I can't give you any kind of a soft timeline. It's weeks, not days, as far as getting on the court for live action.

"He is making gradual progress. We're just not at a point where we can talk about a hard timeline."

Nowitzki, who is entering his 22nd season with the Mavericks, breaking a tie with former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant for the longest tenure with one NBA franchise, reportedly sighed when asked if he'd be ready for the season opener on October 17.

"I have to think that once we got him feeling significantly better, there wouldn't have to be a lot of full live workouts to get him in a game," Carlisle said. 

Nowitzki is the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history and needs just 232 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the all-time scoring list. However, he'll need to return to the court sooner than later if he wants a chance to pass him as Lakers forward LeBron James is seventh on the list, just 149 points behind Nowitzki.