NBA: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki ruled out for multiple weeks, says coach Rick Carlisle

Los Angeles: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who has missed the entire pre-season with a sore left ankle, will be sidelined "multiple weeks" into the NBA season, coach Rick Carlisle said Friday.

File image of Dirk Nowitzki. Reuters

File image of Dirk Nowitzki. Reuters

The 40-year-old German 7-footer (2.13m) is set to begin his 21st league campaign, all with the Mavericks, when his injury heals even as his teammates prepare for Wednesday's opener at Phoenix. "It's going to be multiple weeks, I can tell you that, but there's no soft or hard date," Carlisle said, adding, "he's doing better, but has not done any significant court work ... right now he's not playing for at least two weeks."

Nowitzki, the 2007 NBA Most Valuable Player, underwent left ankle surgery in April and took part in some scrimmages last month, but hasn't taken part in any court activity since training camp began on 21 September. "I've been called the $5 milliion mascot already," Nowizki said.

Nowitzki, open to a reserve role for the Mavericks this season, averaged 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists over 77 games last season for Dallas, which went 24-58 and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Mavericks have not won a playoff series since Nowitzki led them to the 2011 NBA title, taking NBA Finals Most Valuable Player honors.

Nowitzki needs only 232 points to match Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the all-time NBA scoring list. He's the only player from outside the United States, and just one of six overall, to score more than 30,000 points in his career.

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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 23:01:12 IST

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