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Mavericks “optimistic” Nowitzki back in 3-4 weeks

Oct 22, 2012, 1:00 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks' Nowitzki walks off the court during a timeout against the Oklahoma City Thunder during their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff basketball game in Dallas Reuters

Dirk Nowitzki had his knee scoped last Friday, something that needed to happen to get rid of the irritation that had already forced him to have his knee drained twice in since training camp opened.

The only question is how much of the regular season he would miss. The original reports suggested he would be out closer to six weeks, meaning a return around the start of December.

But within the Dallas organization they are hopeful it is shorter than that, reports Tim McMahon at

Sources said the Mavs’ medical staff was encouraged by the routine nature of Nowitzki’s knee scope. The hope is that the 34-year-old will respond well to rehab and could possibly miss only two weeks of the regular season.

Obviously, the fewer games the better. Without him Dallas is going to struggle to generate offense consistently, unless you think O.J. Mayo is a lot better than he has shown.

Players do return from these surgeries in as few as three weeks, but they also tend to be younger players. We’ll see, but getting him back in mid-November and six or seven games earlier than previously thought is good for the Mavericks playoff chances in the deep Western Conference.

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