Dirk Nowitzki has been battling a swollen knee for a few weeks now. The Dallas Mavericks' star had to have the knee drained for a second time, but he was able to participate in a full practice yesterday. Despite the practice, though, Nowitzki has not ruled out the possibility of surgery.
Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News says Nowitzki is optimistic about the knee after it was drained and he was able to practice. However, Nowitzki did not rule out the possibility of surgery because the swelling keeps coming back.
“I really don’t know why the swelling keeps coming back,” he said. “I can’t really finger-point it. Maybe there’s something floating in there that shouldn’t be floating in there. We’ll only know that for sure if we do a scope, but as for now, we haven’t (planned surgery). I’m just going to keep working this weekend and see how the knee responds."Nowitzki went on to say that he had no intentions of playing on a swollen knee all season long, so whether he has surgery or not will ultimately be decided by how his knee does in the coming days and weeks. If he does have to undergo surgery, it would be an arthroscopic clean-up procedure.
The Mavericks will need Nowitzki healthy to compete in the NBA's Western Conference. Last season, the Mavericks finished with a 36-30 record and made the playoffs. However, it was not nearly the season they had hoped for as the defending champions. Nowitzki's knee injury could put their plans to return to the top of the NBA in jeopardy.
Nowitzki averaged 21.6 points per game last season. It was not far off his career average of 22.9. However, both his assists and rebounds were down slightly last year. Nowitzki averaged 2.2 assists per game compared with a career average of 2.6 and 6.8 rebounds per game compared with a career average of 8.3.