All the hope and all the optimism has gone by the way side. No matter how much Dirk Nowitzki or Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wanted the star forward to be healthy, he wasn't. Nowitzki underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki could miss 16 games because of the surgery. Townsend says the team did not announce exactly when the surgery took place, but based on previous reports it seems clear that it had to have been very recently.
Nowitzki tried to play through the troublesome knee, but he had to miss the team's last three preseason games. He was hopeful that he could avoid surgery, but that didn't end up being the case. The Mavericks open their season on October 30th at the Los Angeles Lakers. Nowitzki will miss the rest of the preseason and at least the four weeks of the regular season. This could put the Mavericks in a hole, but not one deep enough that they can't dig their way out.
Nowitzki is Dallas' best player. His absence will hurt, but he will be back in time to help the team recover. His career average of 22.9 points per game will help once he is back on the court. The Mavericks are hoping to have a bounce-back year after a relatively disappointing 2011-12 season. With Nowitzki's help, they won the NBA Championship in 2010-11.
Nowitzki is in his 15th NBA season. He is 34 years old and an injury like this will likely affect him differently than when he was in his 20's. Regardless, the team believes he will only have to miss limited time.
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