ATLANTA – Even before they knew Dirk Nowitzki was going to have surgery, the Dallas Mavericks were already preparing themselves for the inevitable.
Nowitzki had his swollen right knee drained twice since training camp started less than a month ago. And the swelling just wouldn't go away. Thus, the Mavs' franchise player underwent successful surgery on Friday, then started on the long journey to recovery.
“Our medical people had a good pulse on it,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “They say it’s a six weeks estimate, so we’ve got to really buckle down.
“Six weeks is a long time, and a week and a half of it is still non-season time, so that’s a bit of a plus. But NBA games are hard and we’re going to have to have everybody ready to play. It’s as simple as that.’’
Center Brandan Wright, who could benefit from Nowitzki’s surgery, said his teammates must rally together and come together as one while Nowitzki is sidelined.
“We all knew it’s something that’s been kind of expected,’’ Wright said. “We knew it was a possibility at any time.’’
Carlisle knew it, too.
“He was headed this direction,’’ Carlisle said of Nowitzki and surgery. “Our medial people did everything right.
“Friday is a day you get scoped on so you can kick your legs up for the weekend.’’
-- Dwain Price
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