The Dallas Mavericks are set to be without big man Nerlens Noel for 4-6 weeks as he’s set to have surgery to repair a torn ligament on his left thumb. It’s not as if the Mavs will miss Noel, who has not featured a single minute in the team’s last six games.

Nevertheless, the team remains hopeful to have him back by the trade deadline in February, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko.

Noel potentially could’ve still played with the thumb injury, which is a common injury for a basketball player. But because he’s not getting any playing time at the moment under coach Rick Carlisle and the fact that he's set to be an unrestricted free agency in the summer, he opted to undergo the surgery anyway.

“It's not anything crazy,” Noel said. “It's a pretty common injury for a basketball player. I'm just going to get it taken care of. I showed it to the trainers and they said, that it's not right. They said I should probably get some surgery and get it fixed up now.”

But even when Noel returns next year, it remains to be seen whether he can see any time on the court for the Mavs. Even 25-year-old rookie Maxi Kleber has overtaken him in the rotation with the Mavs going 5-5 since he was inserted into the starting lineup.