- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Nowitzki, who sat out Tuesday's loss to FC Barcelona Regal in Spain, is experiencing soreness and swelling in his knee for the second consecutive training camp. It bothered him several weeks into the season last year, something he wants to avoid happening again.
"We'll see how it responds," Nowitzki said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "But the longer we wait, obviously the worse it is. If we have to do something, it'd be better to do it quick.
"But we're still hopeful that this is a temporary thing. If we relax and rest it for a week and see how it goes, then we'll have a better idea."
If Nowitzki does have to undergo arthroscopic surgery next week, he might be able to return in time to play in the Mavericks' Oct. 30 season opener against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Nowitzki, 34, said the pain and stiffness in the knee is similar to what he felt during last year's training camp. After a miserable start to the season, Nowitzki took four games off to get treatment on the knee and work on his conditioning. He performed to his All-Star standards after that break, but Nowitzki still finished the lockout-compressed season with his worst statistics since 1999-2000, his second season in the NBA.
Nowitzki tweaked his offseason routine in an attempt to ensure his knee wouldn't be an issue, with an emphasis on maintaining strength in his legs. However, the soreness started soon after the opening of training camp and hasn't gone away.
"Obviously, it's unfortunate," Nowitzki said. "Last year, we dealt with it. Hopefully, it'll respond here in the next week or so, and I'll play throughout the whole season. The good thing, or different thing, this year is that my legs are actually pretty strong. I lifted all through the summer. So hopefully this is just temporary."