|Dirk Nowitzki admits that he is getting tired of watching from the sidelines and can't wait to return to the court|
Dirk Nowitzki has been out of action since 8 October due to an injury he sustained on the eve of the Dallas Mavericks' pre-season game at Regal Barcelona.
The German superstar underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on 19 October and team doctors said at the time they expected him to 'resume on-court activities' within a maximum of six weeks.
Both the EuroBasket 2005 MVP and the Mavericks though were quite optimistic it would take just over three weeks for him to be close to full fitness.
It's now been 25 days, and Nowitzki is fed up with watching from the sidelines.
"Gotta admit, I'm already getting tired of rehab," Nowitzki said on the Fox Sports TV network.
"It's been three weeks. Obviously, that's a lot of time for me watching."
Like any athlete, the Würzburg-born forward has received his fair share of blows and knocks during his 14-year professional career.
As strange as it sounds for a 34-year-old frontcout player however, all these previous injuries were quite minor.
The October surgery was the first to keep Nowitzki out of action for so long.
"When I originally heard three-to-six weeks, in my mind I'm thinking ‘in two weeks I'm back'.
"But unfortunately, this is not how it happens. My first knee surgery of my career and unfortunately this stuff takes longer than we expected," he admitted.
The NBA Regular Season tipped off on 31 October and the Mavericks have had to make do without their leader, the focal point of the team on both ends of the floor.
So far they have managed to steer through.
Ahead of the Wednesday night game at home to Washington Wizards they are in fourth place in the Southwest Division, having won four and lost four.
They have coped decently, but a 50% win record is not good enough for a team that considers a spot in the play-offs a given, let alone one that aspires at reaching the Western Conference Finals - or earning a shot at the title.
The level of anxious anticipation in Dallas is rising fast as now Nowitzki and the doctors cannot tell for sure when he will be back on the team.
"At this point, gotta stay patient and do what the doctors and trainers tell me. Just keep rehabbing and see how long it is," Nowitzki said.
"So I've gotta be patient, do the smart thing and keep working."
"I just want to be out there. To me, the recovery is not as quick as I was expecting.
"I had some down days, so I'm working on being in a good mood and still firing the guys up and being there every day, working out and working hard."