Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki Misses Monday's Game Against Rockets

Dirk Nowitzki has been battling a knee injury that has already required two procedures to drain it.  The Dallas Mavericks and Mowitzki have not ruled out surgery if the knee does not improve.  Nowitzki has already said he has no intentions of playing an entire season on a swollen knee.  Yesterday, Nowitzki sat out against the Houston Rockets, but it is not clear if it was due to his right knee issue.

According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, coach Rick Carlisle's tone about Nowitzki's status did not ring of confidence that the forward's knee was improving.  He told reporters that Nowitzki wasn't playing yesterday but didn't go into specifics.

Nowitzki has already said he is weighing his surgical options, and with each new development in the knee injury it seems he moves closer to having to undergo surgery.  Nowitzki has been incredibly productive in his career, so any extended absence will hurt Dallas.  Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 points per game in his career.  In addition, he has averaged 8.3 rebounds per game.

Should the Mavericks have to play the season without Nowtizki for any extended period of time, they will struggle.  While the team made the playoffs last season, they took a clear step back from the NBA Championship run of 2010-11.

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