Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is scaling back his activity level in an attempt to avoid arthroscopic surgery on his sore right knee.
Nowitzki didn't play in the Mavericks' exhibition loss to FC Barcelona Regal in Spain on Oct. 11. He subsequently returned to practice for three days but didn't play Monday in the Mavericks' preseason victory over the Houston Rockets.
"I'm doing everything I can, conservatively, not to have surgery," Nowitzki told reporters. "I guess that's obvious, that I really don't want it done now. If I want to do it, I would love to do it after the season, get through the season somehow.
"But the swelling came back three or four times now. That's obviously not good news. If it's going to keep swelling up on me, then that's obviously not the way to go through an 82-game season and hopefully a long playoff run."
The Dallas Morning News reported that Nowitzki would spend a few days off the basketball court, working out in a swimming pool and on exercise equipment.
The Mavericks open the regular season Oct. 30 with a game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Nowitzki, 34, adjusted his offseason training regimen in hopes of avoiding the knee issue that forced him to miss four games last season. However, the 11-time All-Star still experienced problems early in training camp.