Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitski, celebrating against the Miami Heat during the 2006 NBA Finals in Dallas, will miss six weeks of action after having surgery on his knee Friday. (Photo : Reuters)
Dallas Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki will miss at least six weeks of action after undergoing arthroscopic surgery in his swollen right knee Friday.
ESPN, who broke the story Friday afternoon, reported that the Mavericks organization confirmed Nowitzki will miss the start of the regular season after having surgery to relieve the pressure in his swollen right knee.
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In addition to missing the rest of the preseason, Nowitzki-the 11-time All-Star who led the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat- will miss at least 13 regular season games.
"We've got to really buckle down," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Six weeks is a long time. A week and a half of it is non-season time, so that's a bit of a plus, but NBA games are hard and we're going to have to have everybody ready to play. Simple as that."
Nowitzki had his knee drained twice during this month to treat his knee. However, ESPN reported, "the knee did not respond as well as hoped to a program of rest, icing and low-impact conditioning work this week, leading to the decision to get the knee scoped."
While the Mavericks star had been hoping to avoid surgery, he had indicated that he would do it if there was no choice.
"If it's going to keep swelling up on me, that's obviously not a way to go throughout an 82-game season and hopefully long playoff run," Nowitzki told ESPN Monday after swelling returned following his participation in three straight practices.
With a season-opening matchup against Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers Oct. 30, the challenge facing Dallas is daunting.
"It's never going to be easy to lose a game-changer for six weeks," Carlisle told ESPN. "We know that, but we're going to have to make up for it in other areas. We're going to have to play with grit and guts, and we're going to have to raise our level of efficiency in all areas."