Dirk Nowitzki Aims To Return By End Of Month

It has been a frustrating season so far for Dirk Nowitzki, who has been limited to just five games due to a persistent Achilles issue. However, the German big man is hoping to get back on the court for the Mavericks sometime before the end of 2016, perhaps around Christmas, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com details.

“The thing is, I think when I came back it was a little too early and I had a little setback,” said Nowitzki, who played two games in late November before going back on the shelf. “Everybody’s a little worried about starting it back up too early and then starting back where we were, so we’re taking it slow now. But it’s been getting better. I’ve been increasing the workload, and it hasn’t been sore. Hopefully, I’ll be back in action any time soon. Maybe I’m a Christmas gift.”

Nowitzki, 38, remained healthy and productive last season, averaging 18.3 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 75 total regular season games for the Mavericks. However, with an Achilles strain plaguing him this season, he has been sidelined for the majority of Dallas’ games, and the team has struggled in his absence. For the season, the Mavs have a 6-20 record, tied with the Sixers for the NBA’s worst mark.

[RELATED: 2016/17 NBA Reverse Standings]

As he has stated in the past, Nowitzki’s goal is to play for 20 NBA seasons. However, he has acknowledged the possibility that 2016/17 – his 19th season – could be his last if his health problems persist. Still, there’s optimism within the Mavs that their longtime star can get healthy and have a productive second half, which would put him on track to play one more year.

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