DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki didn’t spend a day in college, much less earn a medical degree, but it’s worth taking note when he offers a prediction on Rodrigue Beaubois’ return from a broken foot.
“It looks like he’s not going to play until December, the way he looks, so we just have to fight through it,” Dirk said. “It won’t be any time soon. He’s still in a damn boot, so it’s going to be a while.”
That prognosis was news to Beaubois, who put the protective boot back on about three weeks ago after experiencing soreness when he tested the foot with three-quarters drills. The only thing Beaubois knows for sure is that he isn’t close to being ready to play.
“I cannot give you a date,” said Beaubois, who had surgery on the foot in August. “It’s just going to be week to week. But for sure, it’s not going to be right now. It’s not going to be next week.”
Nowitzki understands the importance of being patient with Roddy B’s recovery. It doesn’t make sense to jeopardize the long-term health of a 22-year-old to rush him back this early in the regular season.
And Nowitzki firmly believes that Beaubois, who had flashes of brilliance while floating in and out of Rick Carlisle’s rotation has a rookie, has superstar potential.
“The sky’s the limit if he keeps improving,” Nowitzki said. “He’s got the shot. He can go both ways. He’s got the floater. He can shoot off the dribble. He’s a long, crafty defender. There’s really nothing he can’t do. He’s going to be a real nice player.
“Hopefully, he can stay out of injury problems. To have a stress fracture when you’re 22 is obviously not what you want. It’s a little early for all that. That’s why we’re not going to rush him back. We tried [three] weeks ago, and it wasn’t happening, so I think this time we’re going to shut him down until he’s all the way right.”
Nowitzki also isn’t a coach and doesn’t make decisions about who will start at shooting guard. But it’s worth taking note when he offers his opinion, which is that the Mavs will be best with Beaubois starting and Jason Terry returning to his sixth man role.
“You saw last year what he brings. He’s unpredictable,” Nowitzki said of Beaubois. “He’s liable to do anything out there, which is good. I think sometimes we’re a little bit too predictable. When he comes in, he might pull up for a 3 from 25 feet, the next time he drives and is a great finisher in there.
“He just brings a little step and a little pep to our game that we need sometimes.”
But it’ll be weeks until that have that little step and pep.