Dirk Nowitzki Injury: Updates on Mavericks Star's Knee and Return

Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist

Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Germany looks for an explanation from an official in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, April 28, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is dealing with a knee injury that forced him to miss Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, he has been cleared to return to the court.

Continue for updates.

Nowitzki Active vs. Thunder 

Thursday, Jan. 21

Nowitzki will play against the Oklahoma City Thunder, per Mark Followill of Mavs.com.

Nowitzki Still Productive Despite Age 

Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Nowitzki is coming off a season in which he averaged 17.3 points a night on 45.9 percent shooting and made his 13th All-Star appearance. He's in the twilight of his career but remains a productive shooter when not asked to do too much on a nightly basis.

Expectations were low for Dallas in 2015-16 after a disappointing offseason, and some questioned whether the team should tank in order to secure a high draft pick. Instead, the Mavericks have been one of the NBA's most pleasant surprises, and making the playoffs is a real possibility for the team.

Nowitzki is one of a number of factors behind Dallas' success. Through 40 games, he leads the Mavs in scoring (17.8 PPG) and three-point percentage (39.8 percent). Head coach Rick Carlisle has done well to manage Nowitzki's minutes, ensuring the German star remains healthy and effective. 

Now that he's back in the fold, the Mavericks regain the face of their franchise at a crucial juncture.