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Sounds like Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki is out until 2013

Dec 6, 2012, 12:13 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

Dallas is going to have to keep struggling along without Dirk Nowitzki for longer than he wanted or expected.

Nowitzki had said he hoped to be back in mid-December, which is about what the timeline for recovery from his knee surgery during training camp suggested could happen.

But it’s not going to happen, Nowitzki told the Dallas Morning News. Rather, he sounds like a guy we likely won’t see on the court until after the Rose Parade and a bunch of bowl games.

“We said from the beginning the only way I could get back on the court was when the swelling is gone and the quad strength is back. And so we got a long way to go.

“Now, it’s already December 5th. I don’t think middle of December is happening now to be honest. That was my goal a couple weeks ago. But the swelling was in there too long and it held me back too long and I couldn’t start working soon enough.”

There are some good signs — Nowitzki was out on the court taking shots, although not running or cutting, and he said they have increased his rehab workload. He says the knee is feeling better. But recovery is a process and even when he can run and cut there are a lot of practices to go through to get back to being ready to play.

It looks more and more like we will not see Nowitzki until 2013.

Without him the Mavericks are 8-10, with a middle of the pack offense and defense. Even coming off knee surgery he should certainly help an offense that has struggled to create good looks and has fallen back to relying on Derek Fisher at the point.

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