Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki to miss final 3 games after ankle surgery, report says

The forward underwent minor surgery on his left ankle Thursday in an effort to eliminate the inflammation he was experiencing.

The Mavericks are expected to lose Dirk Nowitzki for the final three games of the regular season to an ankle injury.

The forward underwent minor surgery on his left ankle Thursday in an effort to eliminate the inflammation he was experiencing, Sports Day reported. Nowitzki has faced pain in his ankles periodically throughout his career.

Nowitzki was listed as questionable for the Mavericks' game against the Cavaliers on Sunday with a left ankle impingement. After playing Tuesday against the Trail Blazers, he was sidelined Wednesday and missed Dallas' 105-100 loss to Orlando.

Sports Day notes the injury shouldn't have an impact on Nowitzki's decision to return for the 2018-19 season. While there was speculation the 39-year-old might retire after this season, Nowitzki said last month, "I'm planning to come back."

"I feel great," Nowitzki added. "I signed a two-year contract because I wanted to play two more years. And here we are."

The Mavericks will feel Nowitzki's absence as he is the No. 6 scorer in NBA history averaging 12 points and shooting 40.7 percent from 3-point range this season.