Nowitzki underwent surgery on his right knee Oct. 19, an operation that typically has a recovery timetable of three to six weeks. The Mavs were originally quietly optimistic that the 11-time All-Star would be back closer to the short end of that timetable, but Nowitzki said during the Mavs' television broadcast Monday night that he still isn't certain when he'll be ready to resume basketball activities.
"When it originally hurt, three to six weeks, in my mind, I'm thinking in two weeks, I'm back," said Nowitzki, who has returned quickly from several ankle sprains during his 14-year career. "But unfortunately, this is not how it happens. It's my first knee surgery of my career and unfortunately this stuff takes a little longer than we expected.
"So I've just got to be patient and do the smart thing and keep working."
Nowitzki, 34, who had never missed more than nine games in a season, said he is still limited to activities such as running in the pool and working out on an exercise bike. He acknowledged that he's frustrated that he isn't further along in the rehab process.
"Gotta admit, I'm really already getting tired of rehab these three weeks," Nowitzki said. "It's been three weeks. Obviously, that's a long time for me watching. So I'm really getting tired and bored of it. But at this point, gotta stay patient and do what the doctors and trainers tell me, just keep rehabbing and see how much longer it is."