Dirk Nowitzki was hoping to be back on the court sooner, even if the Dallas Mavericks were saying after his surgery that it might be at least 6 weeks before any basketball action.
The perennial All-Star forward instead is finding out just how complicated and frustrating it can be getting over surgery.
Nowitzki claimed that he’s still about 2 weeks away from getting back on the court to start running and shooting. That would put him at only more than 6 weeks since arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Oct. 19 – and he isn’t sure when he will start playing again after that. Las Vegas odds
”Unfortunately, I tried, but I couldn’t reduce the time down,” Nowitzki said. ”I was obviously looking to cut that time a lot shorter. It has been a frustrating time for me, especially watching and nothing I can really do. So there were some hard days, some frustrating days. … But I think now it’s gotten better this last week or so and now I believe I am seeing the end of the tunnel.”
Nowitzki, who never had surgery in his 1st 14 NBA seasons, asserted the goal has often been for the swelling to be gone and he must be 100 percent strength-wise before he will play again. There are still good days and bad days with the swelling.
”Once that goal is reached, then I can obviously think about playing again,” he announced. ”But I suspect we’re still a long way away from that.”
He was able this week to extend his off-court workload, including leg presses and getting back on an elliptical training machine.
The 34-year-old, 7-foot German decided to undergo surgery after problems with swelling early in training camp. Nowitzki had issues with the same knee two seasons back when he missed time before the Mavs won their only NBA title, then skipped a week last Jan to strengthen and condition that knee.
The Mavericks (6-6) are trying to get by with 8 new players. They could go 20 games or more before getting an opportunity to play with Nowitzki.
”Dirk will get there. And we know he’ll be back at some point. But no-one knows precisely when that is going to be,” Coach Rick Carlisle said. ”For now, we have to press forward with the fellows we have got and we must take up the slack in a few of these areas where we are having some slippage and where we’re losing ground.”
Nowitzki asserted it’s been troublesome to sit and watch knowing there are ways in which he could help if he was playing.
But he has no plans to rush himself back, like he had to do after the NBA lockout following the championship season.
”I need to be sure everything’s right before I come back. I can’t rush. I am hoping perhaps after these 2 years to play a few more years,” he 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. So it’s been learning how to be patient the last couple weeks. It’s not my favorite thing to do.”