Practice report: Dirk goes through 1st practice since scope, expects return after Christmas
Earl K. Sneed reports from the Dallas Mavericks' Wednesday practice, where 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki went through full-contact drills for the first time since arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19.
Practice report (12/19/12)
Dirk goes through 1st practice since scope, expects return after Christmas
Going through full contact drills for the first time since his arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19, Nowitzki continued his steady progress towards a return date. When that day will be, however, is still unclear.
“First time really with some practice time, some contact and played some two on two afterwards,” Nowitzki said when summing up his day. “This practice obviously wasn’t very long. We have a back-to-back coming up here and the boys played last night, so practice was really more of a prepping for tomorrow’s game. But we did some contact drills, shot the floor and played some two on two afterwards, so first time I really got going a little bit and it feels good to be back out.
“Unfortunately, these next couple of days I don’t think there’s a lot of practice time. We have a back-to-back, then we have another game on Sunday, so I’m going to be playing some one on one or some two on two with some low-minute guys and then slowly get better and better.”
Meanwhile, the Mavericks (12-13) practiced on with three main contributors listed as day-to-day.
Still awaiting the results from an MRI on veteran point guard Derek Fisher’s right knee after his awkward fall in the first quarter of the win over Philadelphia, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has already listed his starting floor general as out for Thursday’s nationally-televised matchup against the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat.
Meanwhile, big men Elton Brand (groin) and Brandan Wright (sprained right ankle) are also listed as day-to-day but will be game-time decisions as the Mavs try to build off Tuesday night’s win when they welcome in the current titleholders. And with Nowitzki’s return date still pending, the Mavs could continue to be short-handed until after the Christmas holiday.
“We’ll just see how it goes. I mean, this is the first day we’re stopping, pushing off, moving and we’ll just see how it reacts. But I’m gonna do that a couple of times and do some contact for a while, and maybe any time after Christmas I’ll be fine. Get at least a couple practices under my belt, but there’s no real date set, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the knee responds to the first couple of workouts,” Nowitzki explained.
“It wasn’t really a full, full, full contact day, but he’s working hard,” Carlisle said as Nowitzki inches closer to a return. “No timetable. He’ll be back at some point when he’s ready. He’s not ready yet, and that’s where we are. I know everybody wants to get the first scoop, when’s Dirk gonna play? We don’t know when he’s gonna play. He’s working hard, he’s making gradual progress, which is how this works when you have a scope. And when it happens it will happen. We hope it’s sooner than later, but we don’t have a time yet.”
Note: The Mavericks will return to action when they play host to the NBA champion Miami Heat on Thursday night. The game will air nationally on TNT at 8:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.