Dirk Nowitzki sat out Dallas’ preseason loss to Barcelona this week and the “Euro beats NBA” headline took center stage for a while because of it. Beset by injuries to Brandan Wright and Chris Kaman since literally Day One of training camp, Dallas was routed without its best player. Now it’s time to consider that a loss in Europe might not be the worst of it for Dallas if Nowitzki has to sit out because of possible knee surgery.
The same right knee that hindered Nowitzki’s conditioning last year and put him about two months behind schedule is now sore and swollen again, the Dallas Morning News reported. If it continues to swell up, arthroscopic surgery is a possibility and (silver lining alert) it usually only knocks a player out for a maximum of four weeks to clean up the causes of the swelling. That is two-to-four weeks this Mavericks team does not have, however, even though this is just October. The lineup has been constructed in such a way — with eight players’ contracts expiring after this season and free agents Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Darren Collison on one-year deals — that Dirk is the keystone holding the patchwork team together. Only three players remain from the 2011 title team and this team needs every second together for continuity’s sake. Nowitzki sounded as in-the-dark about his knee’s progress as anyone else.
“We’ll see how it responds,” he said. “But the longer we wait, obviously the worse it is. If we have to do something, it’d be better to do it quick.
“But we’re still hopeful that this is a temporary thing. If we relax and rest it for a week and see how it goes, then we’ll have a better idea.”
“Scared is a strong word,” [Nowitzki] said. “Obviously, it’s unfortunate. Last year, we dealt with it. Hopefully, it’ll respond here in the next week or so, and I’ll play throughout the whole season.
What do you think?
Follow Andrew on Twitter at @AndrewGreif.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.