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Mavericks' Nowitzki Doubtful for Game 4

May 25, 2003|From Associated Press

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki's knee injury is not as bad as the Dallas Mavericks feared, although they listed him as doubtful for today's Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs.

An MRI showed a sprain to the ligaments that hold the left kneecap in place, but there was no other structural damage, the Mavericks said.

"With an injury like this the typical recovery time is 10-14 days," Mavericks' team physician T.O. Souryal said Saturday. "However, Dirk is an amazing athlete and with 24-hour treatment that we have already implemented, we hope he may be able to return to the court during this series."

Nowitzki's knee buckled inward when he collided with San Antonio's Manu Ginobili during the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Friday night. The Spurs won, 96-83, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.

"I think I was lucky," Nowitzki said. "I think it could have been a lot worse after seeing the replay last night."

An MRI performed on Dallas center Shawn Bradley's right knee showed a sprained medial collateral ligament, and the team said he would be out indefinitely. Third-string center Evan Eschmeyer said a loose piece of cartilage in his left knee probably will prevent him from playing in the postseason, meaning Dallas might have only nine players in uniform for Game 4.

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