By Marc Weinreich
November 13, 2012

Dirk Nowitzki said his knee surgery rehab is taking longer than expected. Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

When Dirk Nowitzki had arthroscopic knee surgery in October, the initial timetable for his return to "basketball activities" was six weeks. Now, less than a month into his rehab, the Dallas Mavericks' franchise player said that his recovery is not on schedule and that it will be longer than expected until he is seen playing basketball again, according to Jeff Caplan of

“At this point, I’ve got stay patient and do what the doctors and trainers tell me; just keep rehabbing and see how long it is. When I originally heard three-to-six weeks, in my mind I’m thinking ‘in two weeks I’m back.’ But unfortunately, this is not how it happens. My first knee surgery of my career and unfortunately this stuff takes longer than we expected."

Nowitzki had been weighing his options throughout the preseason and ultimately decided to go forward with the arthroscopic surgery after missing the first three preseason games. He had his knee drained before the season began,  hoping it would alleviate some of the pain, but clearly it couldn't have been too effective.

Given this most recent news and the likelihood that he won't be back at practice until December, Nowitzki should be looked at as doubtful to play in a regular season game before 2013. According to Caplan, he recently began light running in the pool. Nowitzki said he suspects his knee became agitated at the start of last season, which came to a rather abrupt beginning following the lock-out.

The Mavs are currently 4-4 and fourth in the Southwest Division without him.

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