DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki tried to calm the fears of Dallas Mavericks’ fans after he sat out the second half of Friday’s 105-95 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Mavs shut Nowitzki down due to soreness in his right Achilles. It’s an injury that has dogged the 13-time All-Starr throughout training camp and for the first five games of the season.
"I don’t think that it is anything major,’’ said Nowitzki, who scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds in 16 minutes. "It’s just that the Achilles is inflamed and I have been getting treatment for hours every day.
"My guy from Germany is even here, who has been treating me every day for over two hours. I’m taking medicine and nothing has really made it better to the point where I can move out there without it bothering me.’’
Nothing, medical-wise, has seemed to work for Nowitzki. So the Mavs decided to rest their superstar forward for at least a week and see if that’ll be the cure-all.
"He didn’t re-injure the Achilles -- it’s just lingering,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "It’s not getting better the way it needs to, and so we’ve got to shut him down.
"He’s more than willing to continue playing, but it’s pretty obvious that things just aren’t right. So we’ve got to do the right thing here and back him off and get to the root of it and get it fixed.’’
That means no basketball for Nowitzki.
"We are going to take a few days off and not get on the court and not do all that stuff that makes it sore,’’ said Nowitzki, who is 38 years old. "Hopefully it will be better in a couple of days and then we can ramp it back up.
"But that is where we are at. It hasn’t got to the point where I can move well and move pain-free, so it doesn’t make any sense for me to be out there.’’
The last thing the Mavs want is for Nowitzki to be playing way less than 100 percent. That wouldn’t bode well for a team who is off to an 0-5 start – the worst start to a season in Mavs’ history.
"Is it bad news, yes,’’ Carlisle said of Nowitzki’s status. "We’ll get through it.
"We’ve gone through some periods like this before, but his health is the most important thing. We’ll update you guys in about seven days. He’s not going to play at least until then.’’