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Mavs' Nowitzki still suffers from swelling in right knee

DALLAS -- Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki hopes to avoid surgery after experiencing more swelling in his troublesome right knee.

Nowitzki missed his second straight preseason game as Dallas beat Houston 123-104 Monday night. The 11-time All-Star said after the game he is going to reduce his workload over the next week and see if the swelling goes down in his knee, which has been drained twice over the past month.

The 2011 NBA Finals MVP said if there is no improvement over the next few days, he may have no choice other than to have surgery, which would probably sideline him into the regular season.

“I guess that it's obvious that I don't want (surgery) done,” Nowitzki said. “If it's going to keep swelling up on me, that's not a way to go through an 82-game season and hopefully a long playoff run.”

Nowitzki said the swelling wasn't as bad as it had been when he had problems before a preseason game In Spain last Tuesday. He practiced once the team returned to Texas and experienced more swelling afterwards.

It is the same knee and same issue Nowitzki dealt with early last season. The Mavericks held their perennial All-Star out for a four-game stretch in January to improve his game conditioning and give him time to strengthen his right knee.

Nowitzki said he is going to avoid practices and scrimmages, limiting his workouts to time in the pool and on the elliptical machine.

“It makes no sense to play in the preseason on a swollen knee,” Nowitzki said. “So we'll see what's going to happen in the next couple of days.”

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Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, left, and Josh Akognon watch during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Dallas, Monday, Oct. 15. ...

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