I do not think many people will come out and say publicly that Dirk Nowitzki picked a bad time to have knee surgery, but I get the sense there are some grumblings about it. After all, it was not like he got hurt and then decided to have surgery, it was something that must have built over time, and he waited until two weeks before the season started to get it done.
But Dirk says the injury really just snuck up on him.
I think there was no indication that it needed to be done,” Dirk said. “I had no problem all summer. I had some trouble last year when the season started, but then I made it through the season great. I didn’t have any swelling again for the rest of the season, didn’t have any swelling over the summer. Even when I started working out, running, lifting, shooting in Germany, I didn’t have any swelling at all. I was actually thinking I’m getting through the season fine. So I had a little setback, and that’s why it had to be done.
I do not blame Dirk for waiting. I think he was probably hoping he could make it through the season, and then he had a setback and it did not seem like a realistic option.
There are varying estimates as to when Nowitzki will return to action but he’s going to miss at least a few weeks at the start of the Mavericks’ season.
Dallas has already slid way down the Western Conference ladder after winning the championship less than a year and a half ago. They made some improvements to the roster after the departure of Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, adding O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman, but the loss of Nowitzki at the beginning could make things difficult. The West becomes more and more competitive every year and dropping a few games early on could be the difference not only in playoff seeding, but also in making the playoffs at all.
Most Mavericks fans probably understand what Dirk had to do, but they have to be hoping it pays off in the long run.