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Dirk's knee not worrying Cuban

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DALLAS (AP)

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday night that he isn't concerned about Dirk Nowitzki's right knee because of the 11-time All-Star's history of dealing with injuries.

Nowitzki missed his third straight preseason game Wednesday night with a swollen right knee.

The 2011 Finals MVP said Monday he hopes it will respond to a reduced workload this week so he can avoid surgery.

''He went through it earlier in his career with his ankle, now his knee,'' Cuban said. ''We saw it last year and we dealt with it. We'll deal with it again this year however we need to. He's got the best training and medical staff in the league.''

Nowitzki had the same issue in the same knee early last season. The Mavericks held him out for a four-game stretch in January to improve his game conditioning and give him time to strengthen his right knee.

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Once he returned, Nowitzki did not miss any time the rest of the season.

Earlier in Nowitzki's career, he struggled with ankle injuries. He has never missed more than nine games in a season.

''Whatever is going happen, we're going to be fine,'' Cuban said. ''We've been through this before many times.''

Nowitzki said Monday he is going to limit workouts to time in the pool and on the elliptical machine, which he was working out on in the training room before the Mavericks played the Phoenix Suns.

Nowitzki hopes this will reduce the swelling so he can return to the court next week. If surgery is needed, he would most likely be sidelined into the regular season.

Cuban was back in his customary courtside seat Wednesday night. He said this was the first preseason game he'd attended in two years.

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Dallas guard Delonte West returned for the Mavericks after he was reinstated from a suspension which lasted less than a day.

After Monday night's preseason win over Houston, coach Rick Carlisle suspended West without offering any details. The ban was lifted Tuesday night after the ninth-year guard met with Carlisle and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson.

West entered the game midway through the first quarter Wednesday night. Cuban downplayed West's brief suspension.

''He's his own unique brand of maintenance,'' Cuban said. ''But we're used to it. We knew that going in ... He's such a competitor. Sometimes it gets the best of him.''

West was a valuable player off the Dallas bench last season and is expected to fill a similar role in 2012-13.

Tagged: Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Delonte West

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