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Dirk Nowitzki said he could retire in 2017 if injuries persist

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The Mavericks star isn’t ready to hang ‘em up, but said he could be forced to if he stays injured.

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki told a German magazine that he could retire in 2017 if injuries keep popping up and keeping him off the court.

"If things don't go so well and it hurts everywhere, it could be that 2017 will be the end," Dirk recently told German magazine Sport Bild.

Dirk is on the books for this season and has a player-option for the next and has repeatedly made it known that he really wants to play 20 years in the NBA with one team — which would mean finishing his two-year contract.

He’s also said multiple times he’ll retire when he wants and when basketball isn’t fun for him anymore and I can’t imagine a less-fun season than this — Dirk has only played five games this season due to a sore Achilles injury and the Mavs have cratered in his absence with a 6-18 record entering Wednesday’s game with the Pistons, last in the West.

Although Dirk’s missed a lot of time and the recent quote is troubling, Dirk told the media earlier this month that this current Achilles injury isn’t career threatening and he plans on coming back this season fully-healthy and ready to help the team. Dirk last played on Nov. 25.

“I want to get back on the court as soon as I can. That’s really all I’m worried about right now, for this year,” Dirk told the media during a post-game session on Dec. 3. “I think we can reevaluate in the summer, talk to the trainers and Cubes and my family, and kind of make a decision there, but right now I’m all in, I wanna play, this is obviously not a career-ending injury that I got.”

Things can change quickly in this league, especially for dudes at Dirk’s age. Hopefully Dirk can delay the inevitable heartbreak for another year.