Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 10/23/12
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki was at times hopeful, at times humorous and at times a bit defiant as the Dallas Mavericks icon met the media Tuesday in his first post-surgery interview and, among other many points, called speculation about his timetable 'ridiculous.' But he also pledged to return to an All-Star level "back playing where I think I was at the end of last year." The UberMan is optimistic about his return, in every way. He's the one who first talked about the possibility of a return in three weeks from last Friday's arthroscopic surgery, which he himself termed "nothing major." But he scoffed at media attempts to lock him into that goal and in fact made note of the fact that twice in recent years he's rushed back from breaks, possibly prematurely. "I think two years ago, when I came back from my knee injury in the championship year, we didn't do too well," he recalled. "I was out for nine games. I probably came back way too early. I didn't look good. I didn't have my wind up. I was struggling there. So I don't think this year, that's something that we're going to do. It's not like two years ago when I had one practice and came back. This year, we're going to make sure I'm ready to go." Dirk continued: "I think when you come off your first knee surgery, you want to make sure all the swelling is gone, you want to make sure all the strength is fully back 100 percent. Then you start going on the court. Then you can start shooting again and running and put another week or two on the court in before you even start thinking about playing again. I need plenty of practices, so it's going to be a few weeks. But is it going to be three, four, five, six? I have no idea." If Dirk will allow me permission to speculate based on his comments and other conversations I've had with Mavs minds Thanksgiving might be a realistic target date. That's five weeks away but again, I don't want to be "ridiculous" in locking into that because, as Nowitzki said, "Any time you have surgery on the knee, there's going to be swelling afterwards. I think it's just hard to say right now when the swelling is going to be gone. "I'm never afraid of working, so I'm gonna do everything I can to get back." Nowitzki was on his feet for the presser at the AAC, leaning against a podium while being watched over by team trainer Casey Smith. When Dirk exited the arena, he did so without a noticeable limp. Whatever level of discomfort he's in wasn't enough to cause him to lose his sense of humor. He poked fun at his wardrobe, noting that during his wedding-related travels during the summer, he wishes he'd mixed in some shopping for some suits. He also said he's already gotten bored hanging around his house over the weekend with nothing to do. "I was walking around and looking around the house early in the weekend," Nowitzki said. "Obviously I elevated it a lot and iced it a lot and I'm trying to do some exercises already, so I'm actually encouraged." He also explained further why he delayed the surgery until this close to the start of the regular season (Dallas plays at the Lakers next Tuesday). "I think it was the right moment to do it," Nowitzki said. "Obviously, I took some heat for the timing of it, but if I would have fought through it this whole season swelling off and on, having it drained here and there I think it's a bad situation for all involved. There was a question of, 'Why didn't you do it in the summer?' I think there was no indication that it needed to be done. I had no problem all summer. (Then) I had a little setback, and that's why it had to be done. Note this 34-year-old's UberManIronMan history of wanting to be on the floor and getting on the floor. Believe him when he said, "I'd love to play next Tuesday. I wanted to play, especially with these new guys." And trust that he delayed surgery because he wanted it to be a last resort. That's good enough for me. But no matter how quickly he returns and no matter how soon he returns to elite-level, Dirk Nowitzki is right when he said, "It stinks. There's no other way to put it."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker