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Dirk Nowitzki injury: Mavericks forward suffering knee pain again

For the second straight training camp, Dirk Nowitzki is playing with a knee injury.

Joern Pollex - Bongarts/Getty Images

Anyone who watched Dirk Nowitzki in 2011-12 knew he was never fully healthy, fighting through knee trouble most of the season. That might be the case again in 2012-13, as the Dallas Morning-News writes that Nowitzki's right knee is sore and swollen this training camp.

Nowitzki is playing through the pain and hoping to avoid surgery, but isn't ruling it out:

"We'll see how it responds," he said. "But the longer we wait, obviously the worse it is. If we have to do something, it'd be better to do it quick.

"But we're still hopeful that this is a temporary thing. If we relax and rest it for a week and see how it goes, then we'll have a better idea."

Nowitzki got off to a slow start last season and eventually sat out four games to rest his knee, returning with no further problems. Now the swelling is back, which isn't news the Mavs want to hear with the regular season set to tip off soon. The Mavericks open the season Oct. 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nowitzki is hoping the swelling is just a temporary thing:

"Obviously, it's unfortunate. Last year, we dealt with it. Hopefully, it'll respond here in the next week or so, and I'll play throughout the whole season.

"The good thing, or different thing, this year is that my legs are actually pretty strong. I lifted all through the summer. So hopefully this is just temporary."

This story was originally published on SBNation.com.

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