Record-setting Nowitzki concedes he's short of fitness

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki To Make Season Debut Against Suns

The Suns have won by an average margin of 13.8 points per game in this six-game win streak over Dallas, and have 35 assists in each of the last two meetings.

The sources said Nowitzki plans to make his season debut in Thursday's road game against the Phoenix Suns, after a longer-than-anticipated recovery from spring surgery on his left ankle.

"It is good to be back", he said following the short outing. It's going to be a process for me playing against National Basketball Association players, [especially] the speed of the game these days.

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (21) officially passed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant (20) for the National Basketball Association record of most seasons played with one team. He is tied with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers at 20 seasons.

"Coming back in and re-accumulate mid-stream, with no real live practice time to speak of, but he has been busting his butt big time". He was experiencing tendon soreness before the start of training camp in September, which forced him to push his timeline back.

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Nowitzki, who led the Mavericks to their only championship as the NBA Finals MVP in 2011, took pride in playing 77 games last season as a 39-year-old.

Nowitzki remains the seventh-leading scorer in National Basketball Association history with 31,189 career points.

Nowitzki played six minutes in the first half, making 1 of 2 shots, including a missed 3-pointer.

Despite his age, Nowitzki has made no announcement regarding whether he'll play beyond this season.

Although the best player in franchise history has been sidelined for the first few months of the season, the Mavericks are rolling behind their newest European import, Luka Doncic.

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