Friday, April 11, 2008

Injury updates on Stack, Josh and Dirk

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Josh Howard didn’t practice today, though they did some shooting. Howard banged his right knee again Thursday against Utah – he first hurt it Sunday at Phoenix running into Shaquille O’Neal.

Jerry Stackhouse went through his first full workout since straining his right groin and didn’t appear to have any setbacks.

“That was a good sign,” Avery Johnson said. “He’s not playing tomorrow in Portland. We know that for a fact. We’ll see how he recovers.”

That does leave open the possibility of his return coming Sunday at Seattle. That’s the game Stackhouse has been shooting for. Howard is officially listed as day-to-day.

“If he doesn’t play, it’s not the end of the world right now,” Johnson said. “We had to get on the train, we’re on the train, we don’t know what our position is in line, but we’re going in with trying to get our team consistently ready for the playoffs.

“If somebody is injured, they’re not going to play. If somebody is managing some minor ailments that can become a major deal, then maybe we’ll think about not playing them. But right now we’re with the mind set that everybody is suiting up, everybody is playing who’s healthy to play.”

Johnson isn’t planning on shutting Nowitzki and his tender left ankle down, though he added: “One game we might take him really, really low on this trip, but he wants to stay in uniform for all three games.” Johnson is talking about minutes, not limbo.

“I feel fine,” Nowitzki said. “It’s never going to be 100 percent until the playoffs anyway, so I’d rather keep my rhythm. Once the adrenaline is flowing during the game, it actually feels good. I’m moving a lot better than I did last week. When I wake up in the morning and practice days it’s usually pretty stiff, but once the game gets going and everybody is fired up, it actually feels pretty good.”

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