Mavs’ Nowitzki scrimmages for first time since surgery

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is looking to return from ankle surgery in April.

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki scrimmaged with some of his teammates on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery in April, a good sign that the veteran shooter will be ready for the start of training camp.

This year will be Nowitzki’s 21st season with the Mavericks, setting an NBA record for the years a player has been with a single team. The future Hall of Famer signed a one-year, $5 million deal in July.

In 77 games last season, Nowitzki averaged 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists, shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from 3-point range. Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic and guard J.J. Barea were also at the scrimmage on Wednesday.

Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle was asked whether Nowitzki will be operating as a sixth man this season.

“I don’t want to get into lineup stuff right now, but his rehab from the surgery is ongoing,” Carlisle told Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. “He’s doing better. He played pickup today for the first time. He’s on track to fully participate in training camp, as far as I understand. But this is a vintage automobile that has to be cared for a certain way. And we’re going to always err on the side of extreme care with him.”