Dirk Nowitzki made a surprise return Sunday night, deciding he’d play against the Spurs less than an hour before tip-off after testing the knee during practice last week. Nowitzki, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19, was not expected to return until after Christmas – so this was an early gift for Mavericks’ fans. The All-Star came off the bench, checking into the game for the first time with 6:28 remaining in the first quarter. He logged a total of 20 minutes, posting 8 points, 6 rebounds and a steal in his first game this season.
According to ESPN Dallas:
“Before the game I felt decent, so I said I’m going to give it a go,” Nowitzki said. “I felt actually good out there. I thought the wind was OK, but my legs were a little heavy there after a couple of trips up and down but I thought I fought through it OK.”