Dirk Nowitzki is going to be out longer than most had hoped. The Dallas Mavericks' star revealed yesterday that he would not return until mid-December at the earliest. It was certainly a blow to a team that is kicking and flailing as hard as they can to keep their collective head above water. However, looking long-term, Nowitzki delivered some potentially good news.
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, Nowitzki would like to continue playing beyond his current contract. That means, at minimum, he would like to still be playing - and playing for the Mavericks I should add - in the 2015-16 season.
"I'm hoping maybe after these two years to play a couple more years," Nowitzki said, "so it would be the wrong thing now to push it and come back too early and maybe make something worse for the long term."Nowitzki was dealing with knee pain through much of the preseason and ultimately had to undergo arthroscopic surgery. While he was not expected to miss much time, the knee has not responded as well to rehab as expected. Now, Nowitzki will have to wait until at lead mid-December to rejoin the team.
In his career, Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game. He is a 12-time All-Star. This may be his first season since 2000-01 in which he doesn't make the All-Star team. Of course, if he doesn't it will be because of the time he has missed. Nowitzki has been remarkably durable in his career. This is his first major injury.