Dirk Nowitzki: Recovery Taking Longer Than Expected

DALLAS — Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who continues to rehab from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, said the recovery process is taking longer than he expected.

Nowitzki spoke for the first time since shortly after the Oct. 19 procedure during the Mavs’ broadcast Monday night of their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Fox Sports Southwest. Team doctors initially said Nowitzki would be able to resume basketball activities in six weeks.

“At this point, I’ve got stay patient and do what the doctors and trainers tell me; just keep rehabbing and see how long it is,” Nowitzki said. “When I originally heard three-to-six weeks, in my mind I’m thinking ‘in two weeks I’m back.’ But unfortunately, this is not how it happens. My first knee surgery of my career and unfortunately this stuff takes longer than we expected.

“So I’ve got to be patient, do the smart thing and keep working.”

The Mavs need the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, badly. Also without forward Shawn Marion (left MCL sprain) for a third consecutive game, Dallas (4-4) lost its third in a row, 90-82, to a limping, but game T’Wolves squad that played without J.J. Barea, Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger, and then lost center Nikola Pekovic to a sprained ankle in the third quarter. Pekovic led the Wolves with 20 points. Of course, Minnesota was already without stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, yet is off to a 5-2 start.

Nowitzki was in the Mavs’ pre-game locker room briefly Monday between workout sessions. He said on the broadcast that he recently started running in the pool, adding the activity to riding a stationary bike. He said he was hopeful of increasing his exercises next week.

Nowitzki has been incredibly durable throughout his career. He’s dealt mostly with ankle sprains at points during his previous 14 seasons, but he always managed to return to action quicker than expected.

He began to have trouble with his right knee at the start of training camp last season. He believed the quick start to the season after the lockout and a brief training camp irritated his knee, causing swelling and discomfort. He missed four games early on to help strengthen the knee. He suffered similar issues early during this training camp and hoped to avoid surgery.

Nowitzki, who did not indicate that he’s had any setbacks, said it’s been difficult from a mental standpoint to be patient during the rehab process when he’d prefer to be on the floor with a team that is blending nine new players.

“I just want to be out there,” Nowitzki said. “To me, the recovery is not as quick as I was expecting. I had some down days, so I’m working on being in a good mood and still firing the guys up and being there every day, working out and working hard on some other stuff.”


  1. Mick.themavsfanforlife says:

    Dirk will be back and it will be sweeter. Mavs let’s do it. Prove the basketball world that our team is not ONEandDONE!

  2. Steve says:

    Yea, i heard of all those names and the last i heard them was when MAVS beat them all to win the championship.

  3. ever Heard about the guys like: JAMES? DURANT? HOWARD? CP3? ROSE? KOBE? D WADE?

    • Steve says:

      Yea, i heard of all those names and the last i heard them was when MAVS beat them all to win the championship.

  4. Admin says:

    Thats a shame. Even though the Mavs actually have a great team on paper despite striking out on Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, they still cannot go far without Dirk. If they are lucky they could sit around the fringes of the playoff race and maybe snag 7th or 8th place. They will need him if they want to make any noise in the playoffs. I say sit him out for as long as they need to. the last thing you want is for this to be a reoccuring injury that forces him to retire.

  5. jose machado says:

    just like that dirk, be patient and keep working, return like the old dirk, cause it seems that dallas will really need that soon!

  6. Nicholas says:

    Dirk’s Knee felt fine all season, the swellen came back after the first preseon game. Hang em up? Wow cant wait to see what your opinion is in 2 months. Dirk is far from over folks

  7. jumpmanlogo23 says:


  8. caloyski says:

    Dirk will fully recover in time for the play-offs; the MAVs just need more time to have more playing experience with each other— in three to five more games , we will see a much better Dallas team– and when Dirk arrives, the team will further be inspired and motivated– and hopefully be one of the top contenders come play-off time. Mavericklandia have faith

  9. willie says:

    get well dirk… we are waiting for you to come back, so we can get our 2nd championship this season….

  10. john bernard says:

    Hope he gets back on track and bring back that GERMAN TANK explosiveness to the team. Positive aura for Dirk Nowitzki. You can do it man, mind over matter.

  11. al bundy says:

    Dirk is probably the best player in the world

  12. werner bros says:

    get well dirk! 🙂

  13. Hmmmm... says:

    Not a Dirk fan really… That jumpshot is nice he has.. Maybe NBA players may need to pick up taking ice baths after games and practice like football players.. May prove to help out a little. The guy only shoots jumpers 99.2% of the time, with that funny waddle backwards he does.. Good thing he doesn’t attempt any rim-bending dunks and what not or his career probably would be done. Hope rehab goes as planned for him, team needs him bad. Loved the way they swept the LA Sparks that year in Playoffs..

  14. HMH says:

    Lesson to professional athletes: stay in shape during the offseason. He could learn a thing or two from his buddy Steve Nash….

  15. kobi says:

    just retire dirk.. its time your jersey will be hook on the roof of mavs.