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Dirk Nowitzki: 'I'm Having Trouble Bending My Knees'

After struggling through uncharacteristically poor shooting performances in the first three games of the Dallas Mavericks Western Conference road trip, a clearly hobbled Dirk Nowitzki admitted that his knees were bothering him:

"I'm having trouble bending my knees," said Nowitzki, who has been wearing a protective sleeve over the knee, the same one he sprained last season and caused him to miss nine games. "I've just got to get my legs stronger, get my base back. I've got to use my legs in my shot and hopefully they'll come back soon."

"It's OK, better than it was three weeks ago, so that's very good," Nowitzki said. "But, it's still just stiff and I can't move the way I want to, but it will be OK. I'm going to keep on working, get a stronger base, get my legs strong where they were in June and hopefully I'll be back to my normal self."

Dirk was not very aggressive in the second half of Dallas' win over Utah on Thursday night, attempting only one field goal in the fourth quarter while being used mainly as a decoy on the three-point line.

He may have to be given a few games off in order to get himself fully comfortable, as the condensed 66-game regular season means there are very few breaks for players to rest between games.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.