Dirk Nowitzki sits vs. Pacers

Dirk Nowitzki did not play Wednesday night as the Dallas Mavericks opened a four-game road trip at the Indiana Pacers. It was the eighth consecutive game Nowitzki has missed since spraining his right knee on Dec. 27.

Dallas fell to 2-6 without their leading scorer and MVP candidate after Wednesday's 102-89 loss.

The Mavs now look toward Friday night's matchup at San Antonio for Nowitzki's potential return. Dallas plays at Memphis on Saturday night and at Detroit on Monday afternoon.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle has been tight-lipped regarding Nowitzki's progress, making it a point after off-day practices to say that he won't provide daily updates. He had been announcing Nowitzki as a scratch after the team's morning shootarounds until Wednesday morning, when he declined to comment on Nowitzki's status.

The team listed Nowitzki as day-to-day after he sprained his knee in a game at Oklahoma City, but he has been out ever since. He has missed a career-high number of games due to the injury. Nowitzki hadn't missed more than five games in a season since 2001-02, when he missed six games.

Nowitzki is averaging 24.1 points on 54.5 percent shooting and 7.4 rebounds.

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.