Nowitzki suits up against Trail Blazers

12/22/2009 - NBA Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks + more

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki is listed as active for Tuesday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"There's been improvement over the last couple of days," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We'll see how he comes in and feels."

Nowitzki has dealt with severe pain and stiffness in his elbow since crashing into Rockets forward Carl Landry during Friday night's overtime loss. Landry had five teeth knocked out or broken, two of which ended up lodged in a deep laceration on Nowitzki's shooting arm. Nowitzki had a shooting session on the Mavs' practice court after arriving at the arena this evening to determine whether he was ready to return after a one-game absence.

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