Dirk to Miss Four Games to Improve Fitness January 23, 2012 16:51

The Dallas Mavericks are resting forward, Dirk Nowitzki, for four games in a bid to improve his fitness for the rest of the season.

The 7-foot German superstar has been playing with a right knee injury this year, but with Dirk going through a bad run of games, he's been ordered by Mavs coach, Rick Carlisle, to take time off so that his knee can strengthen up for the rest of the season.

“We just thought it was a good decision for everybody. I’m not happy right now anyways, so the guys are better off when I’m not out there,” Nowitzki said. “This gives me time to really do some of the stuff that I couldn’t do when my knee was bothering me the last couple weeks. I couldn’t lift and run and do the things I needed to do.”

Mavs coach, Carlisle said. “The important thing to realize is this is not a rest week. This is a work week and we’re going to get some of these minor issues resolved."

Dirk's season average of 17.5 points per game,  is a far cry away from the 23 points he was averaging last year.

Nowitzki played against Utah last Wednesday, when he managed to score only 12 points and grab 5 rebounds.

“I couldn’t go by anybody off the dribble and that’s part of my game. Right now I’m basically a pop-up shooter every time I caught it, and if I didn’t have (the shot), I had to swing it because I just couldn’t make a move, couldn’t go by anybody,” Nowitzki said. “I didn’t feel comfortable. So that’s something that I’ve got to work on this week is putting the ball on the floor and get comfortable and really getting confidence in my leg strength … and I’ll be back to my old self.”