BREAKING: Hopeful Dirk Practices For Mavs

Dirk Nowitzki isn't ruling out the possibility of arthroscopic surgery on his knee. But the Mavs icon did practice fully on Friday, plans to do the same throughout the weekend leading up to Monday's preseason game against Houston, and is talking optimistically about his situation. 'We'll see how it responds over the weekend," Nowitzki said. "I'll be all right, hopefully.' More from inside the AAC:

The Dallas Mavericks aren't yet able to breathe a sigh of relief regarding Dirk Nowitzki and his troublesome knee. But fingers are crossed on Friday as Nowitzki -- who is considering arthroscopic surgery -- participated in the team's practice at the AAC after having his swollen right knee drained.

Said coach Rick Carlisle: "We're hoping to ride this thing out."

"Hopefully" and "day-by-day'' are the two descriptive quotes of the day as the perennial All-Star explains that he's had the knee drained twice this month (and did the same over the course of last season).

"Hopefully it (the swelling) won't come back," said Dirk, talking to the media while wearing a practice uniform covered in sweat. "If it does, then we have to think about something else. ... If the swelling keeps coming back, I'm not going to play on a swollen knee all season.''

That's where the "day-by-day'' comes in. Nowitzki recited the team's practice schedule for the next few days, which includes the team's "Mavstoberfest'' event on Saturday evening, an open scrimmage that fans can attend. Dirk plans on participating while also monitoring the knee -- with plans to make a decision on the surgery well before the season-opener on Oct. 30 at the Lakers.

"Sooner the better if we decide that," Nowitzki said. "I don't want to wait until the 30th and then have a scope – that's pretty obvious. I never liked missing games. ... In my career I always try to be there for the boys.''

Smile A number of other issues to discuss from the Friday practice, and has you covered there. But of course, the top issue is Dirk's knee. Get started by understanding the inside stuff on Nowitzki's health history and the nature of the proposed procedure and then get comfortable -- if that's the right word -- with the idea of a Dirk-less Mavs unit, at least for a short period of time.

Even in the case of arthroscopic surgery, the precedent has been set for athletes to return in less than a month. We'll have more details on that -- including details from practice and audio from Dirk and Rick Carlisle -- coming up on

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