Dirk Nowitzki's return to the Dallas Mavericks is complete with his surprising revelation that he is ready to play in Sunday's game at San Antonio.
"I'm going to give it a go,'' he told our man Mark Followill before the game.
As of Wednesday, Dirk was still talking of returning after Christmas will not having a firm target date.
“Not really,'' he said in a Wednesday afternoon press briefing. "We’ll just see how it goes. This is the first day stopping, pushing off, moving. We’ll see how it reacts. I’m going to do that a couple times, and do some contact for a while.
"Maybe anytime after Christmas, that’ll be fun.''
It's rare ... but Dirk was off-target.
“A couple practices under my belt'' is what Dirk said he'd like before being pinned down further. "But there’s no real date set. So we’ll have to see how the knee responds to the first couple workouts.”
He did have those "couple of practices.''
Dirk himself said it was mostly two-on-two work, noting that it involved him and Roddy B vs. Bernard James and Jae Crowder (low-minute guys who could be spared as the team gears up for Thursday's visit from Miami.
"The quality of the games wasn't high, to be honest,'' Dirk said, smiling.
The quality of Dirk's early work remains to be seen. The plan was to have him come off the bench and play about 20 minutes. He did indeed enter the game with just over six minutes left in the first quarter.
Nowitzki had said he'd already given some thought to minutes and roles and fitting back in, saying the club will work to “see what the smartest thing is, maybe come off the bench for the first couple games, play around 20-to-25 minutes,” he said. “That’s something I guess we need to talk about when it gets to that point. I’m not opposed to obviously coming off the bench at the beginning and slowly finding my rhythm, but I think that’s something we need to talk about when it gets closer.''
"Closer'' is here.
Nowitzki, 34, stepped up his work late last week when the team was on the road in Minnesota. DallasBasketball.com reported that he worked up a sweat while participating at some limited level on Monday, testing the knee that was scoped before the season started.
But now we do have progress -- and a chance for a merrier Christmas.