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Dirk Nowitzki hopes to play Friday after 'strange' knee swelling keeps him out

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Nowitzki didn't play for the Mavericks in Wednesday's game after suffering swelling in his knee after Monday's matchup.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki's only major injury in nearly a decade was 2012 knee swelling that forced him to miss a few months after surgery. On Wednesday, he sat out of the Mavericks' home win against Minnesota with swelling in the same knee.

There's no timetable given by Rick Carlisle and the vague official diagnosis -- a "right knee effusion," which basically is just a fancy term for swelling -- wasn't made any clearer by Dirk Nowitzki, who made a brief appearance in the locker room to talk to the media after the game.

"It was strange," Dirk Nowitzki said. "I obviously finished the game last night. Had no problems, went home, ate, went to bed around 1 or something and the knee just felt a little stiff. I didn't worry about it much, but I woke up with some swelling. Can't really recall anything happening that game -- maybe I got kneed, one time I remember I was going for the ball and hit the ground. Maybe it was that. I can't really tell you much, just that there was some swelling."

When asked if the team drained the knee, Dirk hesitated and said "no comment" with a smile -- giving the impression that it did happen and he wasn't supposed to talk about it. The Mavericks' medical staff has been notoriously tight-lipped about all player injuries over the past few years.

Asked whether he thought this could last for an extended period of time, Dirk also passed up a chance to flatly say no, responding like this: "The good thing is I didn't have any pain with it, so it was just the swelling there and that's why we decided to hold me out tonight."

In 2012, when Dirk missed 27 games, his knee had swelling a couple times in the preseason before he went ahead and had surgery on it, costing him the start of the year. Obviously, that's not the hope at all for Dallas, who needed overtime to beat the Western Conference-worst Timberwolves without him.

"We treated it (Tuesday), we treated it (Wednesday morning) and night, we'll treat it again tomorrow and hopefully it'll feel a lot better," said Nowitzki, who hopes to go through shootaround on Friday and play in another home game against the Thunder.

"It's just something when you're old," the 37-year-old said, before retiring back into the training room out of sight from the media.