Mavericks’ Nowitzki could miss start of season

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is apparently ready to make his season debut soon after ankle surgery in April.

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki could miss the start of the season as he continues to recover from ankle surgery in April, according to coach Rick Carlisle.

“This is weeks, not days, as far as getting on the court for live action,” Carlisle told reporters. “He is making gradual progress, but we’re not just at a point where we can talk about a hard timeline or anything like that.”

The Mavericks are in China to face the Philadelphia 76ers in a couple of preseason games. Nowitzki, 40, is the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history. He has yet to practice with the team.

“It’s a matter of going full bore and then feeling good afterwards,” Carlisle said. “I would have to think that once we got him feeling significantly better, there wouldn’t have to be a lot of full, live workouts to get him into games. But we’re down the road a little more age-wise, so things aren’t necessarily what they were last year, the year before or whatever.

“He’s making gradual progress. We need to have him make some real significant progress, get him on the court, and then we can talk about it.”