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Dirk Nowitzki: I'm close to returning

Updated: January 15, 2011, 1:01 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki still doesn't know the exact date that he will return from a sprained right knee. He just knows it will be soon.

Nowitzki went through his most strenuous workout Friday since suffering the injury Dec. 27 and remains optimistic that he will play at some point during this four-game road trip.

"I'm actually really close," Nowitzki told ESPN's Ric Bucher in an interview during the Mavs' 101-89 loss in San Antonio. "For the first time this morning, ...

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