, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, left, and Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki talk to the media about Nowitzki receiving the key to the city during a news conference prior to an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
22 of November 2018 01:27:21
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki hopes to start his record 21st season with the same franchise in December as the Dallas Mavericks star continues a longer-than-expected recovery from ankle surgery seven months ago.
The 13-time All-Star said he was gradually increasing activity without any setbacks after having one before the start of training camp.
Nowitzki spoke Friday night ahead of a ceremony to present him a ceremonial key to the city of Dallas. It was planned for halftime of the Mavericks' game against Brooklyn.
Nowitzki had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle just before the end of last the 2017-18 season. He was on schedule to be ready for the start of this season before experiencing tendon soreness late in the summer.
The 40-year-old is set to become the first player to spend all 21 seasons with the same team. Until he makes his debut, he will technically share the record of 20 seasons with Kobe Bryant, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016.
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