Nowitzki to miss Mavs’ opener as left ankle rehab continues

<p>
              Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, center, gestures during the Shenzhen basketball match between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Maverick, part of the NBA China Games, in Shenzhen city, south China's Guangdong province, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
            </p>

DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki’s debut in his record 21st season with the Dallas Mavericks won’t be in the opener.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Friday the 40-year-old Nowitzki will miss “multiple weeks” with a longer-than-expected recovery from left ankle surgery in April. The Mavericks open the season Wednesday in Phoenix.

Nowitzki said he had a setback when he started playing again about a week before training camp. He hasn’t practiced in the preseason. The surgery just before the end of last season was to remove bone spurs.

Carlisle said the 13-time All-Star was doing better but hasn’t done any significant work on the court.