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Dirk Nowitzki says he’ll miss season opener

Mavs

Dallas Mavs forward/center Dirk Nowitzki confirmed he will miss the 2018-19 season-opener against the Phoenix Suns, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Nowitzki was already expected to “miss weeks, not months” after a slow recovering from last season’s ankle surgery, one which he underwent early, missing the last four games of 2017-18 to give himself ample time for recovery.

Nowitzki, now a 40-year-old heading into a record-breaking 21st season with the Mavericks, poked fun at his inability to take the court, using his signature dry humor to bring a smile to an otherwise downer of a news story.

“I’ve been called the $5-million mascot already,” said Nowitzki with his humor already in mid-season form.

The German international is expected to come off the bench as rookie Luka Doncic gets the chance to start at his old spot, already showing plenty of promise through short outings in the preseason.

Forward Harrison Barnes, who is bound to miss the entire preseason after tweaking his hamstring in one of the first practices of training camp, expressed his desire to return in time for the season-opener.

“The goal is to be ready by game 1,” he said.

Barnes did some light work in practice, but remains without the ability to join his teammates in full-contact practices as he nurses his sore hamstring.

The Mavs have also been without center DeAndre Jordan after a death in his family, but managed to get the win during their recent game against the Philadelphia 76ers, now 2-1 in their short preseason schedule.