Dirk Nowitzki walked into the Dallas Mavericks' locker room after Monday's game against Houston and said he plans to forgo having surgery on his right knee as long as possible.

Nowitzki, 34, has experienced swelling and soreness in the knee for almost the entire training camp to the point it forced him to miss the last two preseason games. But he said he hopes to get through this entire season without having to go through any surgery.

"There was less swelling in there again," Nowitzki said. "The good news is it's not as much as it was last week in Barcelona.

"I guess that's a little positive, but I'm going to see if it does any better the next couple of days before I do another decision."

Nowitzki said if he has the surgery, there's a recovery period of 3-6 weeks. If that happens, obviously that will be detrimental to what the Mavericks are trying to accomplish this season.

"We've just got to play basketball," center Brandan Wright said. "I know he's got a lot of uncertainty with his knee and stuff like that.

"We don't really know what's going to happen with it. If it goes well or if it doesn't, we've just got to be prepared to play without him."