Despite age and injuries, Dirk Nowitzki could return to international competition

After a season in which Dirk Nowitzki was essentially a shell, it seems strange that the veteran would consider a return to playing in international games.  However, that's exactly what Nowitzki says he might do.  He's not intending to do so until the 2016 Olympic Games though.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN Dallas, Nowitzki has thought about playing for Germany in the Olympics.  He says that if he is healthy enough and if his presence would truly help the German squad clinch a spot in the Olympics.

"If I'm still healthy enough and we have a chance to qualify, then I'd consider it," Nowitzki told ESPN.com late Monday.

Nowitzki underwent knee surgery last season.  It was the first significant injury of his career, so not surprisingly, Nowitzki came back slow.  The Dallas Mavericks missed the playoffs in part because of Nowitzki's absence, but also in part because they are far from the same team that beat the Miami Heat two years ago.

If Nowitzki were to return to international play in 2016, he would be 38 years old.  That would likely be one of the final things he does in his career.  But it could be a capping moment for a very successful career.  In his 15 NBA seasons, Nowitzki has averaged 22.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game.

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