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Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki scrimmages for first time since April ankle surgery

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki returned to the practice facility on Wednesday, as the Mavs’ German-born forward participated in his first team scrimmage since he underwent ankle surgery in April earlier this year.

The 40-year-old Mavericks icon took the next step in rehabilitation process, scrimmaging with teammates such as recently drafted rookie Luka Doncic and veteran J.J. Barea, among others.

Nowitzki underwent surgery on April 5th, and the organization has implemented a slow and steady rehab program for the power forward. Despite the cautious approach, head coach Rick Carlisle hasn’t given much thought of the legendary scorer becoming a sixth man just yet, as he discussed with Eddie Sefko of Sports Day Dallas News.

“I don’t want to get into lineup stuff right now, but his rehab from the surgery is ongoing,” he said. “He’s doing better. He played pickup today for the first time. He’s on track to fully participate in training camp, as far as I understand.

“But this is a vintage automobile that has to be cared for a certain way. And we’re going to always err on the side of extreme care with him.”

The good news for Carlisle and the Mavericks is that Nowitzki will likely be fully cleared and ready to go in just over two weeks when training camp commences on September 21st.

Nowitzki played in 77 games last season, posting solid averages of 12 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while connecting on 40.9% of his shots from three-point range.

Whether the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history comes off the bench remains to be seen, but if he does keep his role in the starting lineup he will join forces with newly acquired center Deandre Jordan, who the franchise signed to a one-year, $24.1 million deal this offseason to form a formidable frontcourt pairing for the upcoming season.