Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki took a key step forward in his rehab Wednesday, resuming running and taking shots prior to the team's game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
Nowitzki has been sidelined all season after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery in mid-October, but the timetable for his return remains uncertain.
"The swelling is gone, so now I think we can push it more and more from week to week," Nowitzki said on ESPN. "I did a lot of cardio last week. Now, I'm actually trying to run the court, get some shots up. Maybe next week, start running more, start cutting and reintroduce more week by week. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I'll get back out there."
With Nowitzki sidelined, Dallas began its game Wednesday outside of the top eight spots in the Western Conference -- the playoff positons.
"It's great to have him around, absolutely," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "This is just part of the process. There's no timetable or any of that. So let's not jump the gun."
Nowitzki averaged 21.6 points and 6.8 rebounds last season, down from his career averages of 22.9 points and 8.3 rebounds. The 11-time All-Star led the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship, when he was selected the MVP of Dallas' win over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.