Dirk Nowitzki was expected to miss 3-6 weeks when he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in October. The Dallas Mavericks were confident he would be able to return closer to the short end of that time table. However, now it's not even clear if Nowitzki will be back by the time six weeks hits.
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, Nowitzki's recovery is not progressing as quickly as hoped, and even Nowitzki admits he's not sure when he'll be able to return. It has been three weeks since the surgery, so a return at the short end of the spectrum has all but been ruled out. Now, the Mavericks can simply hope he'll be back by the six week point. But Nowitzki acknowledges that he and no one else is quite sure how long the recovery will take.
"When it originally hurt, three to six weeks, in my mind, I'm thinking in two weeks, I'm back," said Nowitzki, who has returned quickly from several ankle sprains during his 14-year career. "But unfortunately, this is not how it happens. It's my first knee surgery of my career and unfortunately this stuff takes a little longer than we expected."Nowitzki is an 11-time All-Star and the heart of the Mavericks' offense. His absence has been felt, but the team is still in a good position if they can get him back soon. Dallas is 4-4 on the season without Nowitzki. As long as they can stay afloat while he rehabs, the hope is that Nowitzki's return will lift the team and send them back into the playoffs.
Nowitzki has averaged 22.9 points per game in his career and 6.8 rebounds per game. Dallas wants to get those numbers back on the floor as soon as possible. They also want their leader back to help guide the team to victory.