Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki Practicing With Dallas Mavericks Starters For First Time This Season

So here is some good news for Dallas Mavericks. Per a tweet from ESPN Dallas’s Tim MacMahon, Dirk Nowitzki is practicing with the starters for the first time this season, and a piece yesterday from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was titled “Nowitzki has good shot at returning” with the implication being a return to the starting line-up. Nowitzki already made his season debut about six games ago, but it just doesn’t feel the same with Nowitzki as a reserve for the Mavs.

Rick Carlisle, as MacMahon said in the tweet, “were noncommital” as to whether or not Nowitzki would be able to start for the Mavericks in Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Hornets. That has been the apparent “target” date for Nowitzki’s return to the starting line-up, but that’s mostly speculation due to Carlisle’s usual secrecy on the matter (he rarely divulges key, competitive information like this and for good reason).

Dirk Nowitzki has averaged ten points per game in 133 minutes off the bench, and he has also added 4.3 rebounds. It looks like he is almost fully healthy after returning from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, and the main thing driving the rumor that he will be back tomorrow is the fact that he looked like Dirk again against the Miami Heat.

He put up 19 points after steadily improving his production with each game (11 points a day earlier against the Washington Wizards for his first double-digit performance), and he also added six rebounds in an efficient 7-15 day. Some beat writers are saying that he probably won’t be starting tomorrow against the Hornets, but he is extremely close to regaining his old role. Things are  starting to feel normal again in Dallas, especially after his performance on Wednesday against Miami.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki