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Report: Dirk Nowitzki undergoes season-ending ankle surgery, vows to return for 21st season

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki underwent surgery on his left ankle this morning and is slated to miss the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

This surgery is relatively minor in nature and is not expected to affect his decision to return for his 21st season, as planned. The 7-footer had planned this surgery with the organization beforehand.

“We expect a full and rapid recovery,” a team source said of the procedure, per MacMahon.

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the German international chose to have this procedure done as soon as possible in hopes to be as healthy as can be for his next and likely last season in the league.

“As of now, I’m planning to come back [next season],” said Nowitzki.

Nowitzki chose to play through the ankle impingement that has plagued him throughout the season, yet has proved a relatively healthy body in 2017-18, playing in 77 of the team’s 79 games this season, missing last night’s contest against the Orlando Magic.

The soon-to-be 40-year-old posted 12 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in 24.7 minutes per game this season after a 2016-17 campaign marred by injuries. His percentages also took an upswing, shooting a respectable 45.6 percent from the field, a signature 40.9 percent from deep, and a whisker shy of 90 percent from the stripe.