Peja: 'The knee is responding well...'

January, 29, 2011
1/29/11
7:25
PM CT
DALLAS -- Peja Stojakovic seems antsy to finally get back on the court for the first time since Nov. 26. It won't be tonight against the Atlanta Hawks and it likely won't be Monday night to close the homestand.

Even he isn't sure when he'll play, but Stojakovic did say he is getting closer and that head athletic trainer Casey Smith will make the final call. Stojakovic's knee injury isn't exactly an easy one to pinpoint, which is why it's been difficult to set a timetable on his return, even before he signed with the Dallas Mavericks last Monday.

Stojakovic calls it irritation in his left knee that's led to swelling.

"It's getting better everyday," Stojakovic said prior to Saturday's tip. "The knee is responding well to some hard workouts. The knee took longer than expected. It's about getting into shape."

The Mavs could use a sooner than later return from Stojakovic if the team opts to waive Sasha Pavlovic after tonight's game. Pavlovic's second 10-day contract expires after tonight's game and the Mavs must either sign him for the rest of the season or send him on his way. There have been rumblings that the Mavs prefer to open a roster spot for flexibility rather than hold onto Pavlovic because Stojakovic was brought in to do the same job.

Stojakovic would like that, too. He said the workouts Smith puts him through are far more grueling than any game.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2