DALLAS, May 24 (UPI) -- The Dallas Mavericks almost certainly will be without their best player when they face the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the NBA Western Conference finals Sunday.
After injuring his left knee colliding with Spurs guard Manu Ginobili in the fourth quarter of a 96-83 loss on Friday, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki underwent an MRI on Saturday that showed he suffered a sprain of the ligaments that hold the kneecap in place, the team said.
The MRI also confirmed there was no other structural damage to his knee, but Nowitzki is listed as doubtful for Game Four as the Mavericks try to even the series at two games apiece.
"With an injury like this, the typical recovery time is 10-14 days," team physician Dr. T.O. Souryal said. "However, Dirk is an amazing athlete and with 24-hour treatment that we have already implemented, we hope he may be able to return to the court during this series."
"We are all thankful that Dirk's injry is not as serious as it could have been," Mavericks Coach Don Nelson said. "But we will continue to abide by our decision to not play him unless he is 100 percent."
Nowitzki scored 15 points before suffering the injury.
Also on Saturday, Dallas center Shawn Bradley underwent and MRI on his right knee that showed he has suffered a sprained MCL. He is out indefinitely.