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Dirk Nowitzki MRI shows only sprain, out Tuesday

Dec 28, 2010, 2:16 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki, Grant Hill

Dirk Nowitzki will not suit up when the Mavericks take on the Raptors Tuesday night — and he may miss a couple more games — but the news for Mavericks fans is all good.

An MRI of Nowitzki’s knee showed only a sprain, no serious damage, according to Art Garcia of NBA.com (via twitter). He is officially listed as day-to-day. He may play Thursday against the Spurs (the Spurs have been catching teams without key guys a lot this season, however).

Nowitzki was off to his usual hot start against the Thunder Monday — 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting — when early in the second quarter he went up for a jumper and was fouled by Serge Ibaka. Nowitzki landed awkwardly and left the game immediately afterward and did not return.

Nowitzki himself didn’t think it was that serious, but any knee injury to a guy having an MVP-like season puts fans and an organization on edge. He is averaging 24.1 points per game on a career best 54.5 shooting perentage this season. Now, no reason to worry.

Nowitzki doesn’t get enough credit for being an iron man — he has missed just 12 games total in the five previous seasons. Since his sophomore NBA campaign he hasn’t played less than 76 games in a season.

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