Nowitzki still recovering from collision

Updated: December 21, 2009, 10:48 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

DALLAS -- Star forward Dirk Nowitzki did not play for the Dallas Mavericks in Sunday's home game against Cleveland as he continues to recover from a deep laceration in his right elbow after a collision Friday night with Houston's Carl Landry.

Nowitzki
Nowitzki

"I tried [shooting], but it's just too sore," said Nowitzki before Dallas' 102-95 win, his arm bandaged from his elbow to his wrist.

Coach Rick Carlisle isn't sure when Nowitzki will play again. Dallas next plays Portland at home on Tuesday night.

"We'll see where he's at each day," Carlisle said.

Nowitzki said he's hoping for a Tuesday return.

"I'm on every pill there is," he said. "We'll just see how it responds. If it's not Tuesday, definitely on [Saturday]."

Nowitzki and Landry left the Rockets' 116-108 overtime victory Friday early in the second quarter after their clash near the basket opened the deep gash on Nowitzki's elbow and left Landry with five cracked or completely knocked-out teeth.

Landry caught Nowitzki's elbow in the mouth as Nowitzki drove hard to his left to set up a shot in the lane. He was forced to undergo five hours of dental surgery Friday.

Landry was also called for fouling Nowitzki on the drive. Nowitzki then shot two free throws left-handed to remain eligible to return to the game -- making one of two -- but was soon ruled out for the rest of the night after the Mavericks needed more than 30 minutes to clean the cut and remove pieces of two teeth embedded in Nowitzki's elbow. The Mavericks then administered X-rays, which were found to be negative.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

ALSO SEE