The Dallas Mavericks shocked everyone last night. Not because of their performance or because of a big win. They shocked everyone by playing Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks star has been sidelined the entire season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. However, shortly before the game it was reported that he would play.
Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com had the early report about Nowitzki's return.
Being told don't expect a large role. In fact, a very small role, but it looks like Dirk will play tonight.
— Earl K. Sneed (@EKS_MavsNBA) December 23, 2012
As Sneed reported, Nowitzki did not have a big role. He played 20 minuted and scored eight points. The Mavericks were not able to use Nowitzki's return to propel themselves to victory either. They fell to the San Antonio Spurs 129-91.
Regardless of the loss, Nowitzki's return is good news for the Mavericks. He will get more time as he slowly re-acclimates himself with playing. He should be able to help them get back to .500, then they can focus on getting into a playoff positioning. As it stands now, the Mavericks are 12-16 and need to win.