Nowitzki to work out in Germany if lockout drags

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dirk Nowitzki plans to return to Germany to train with his personal coach after watching his hometown Texas Rangers play in the World Series — unless there's progress toward starting the NBA season.

Nowitzki has said he would wait until early 2012 before considering playing for a European team. With only training camp and the first two weeks of the season canceled so far because of the NBA lockout, he is keeping to that timetable.

"It's time to really get back in the routine," he said after throwing out the first pitch for Game 3 of the World Series between the Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. "Got to keep the options open, maybe see what's going on overseas."

Nowitzki has become a Rangers fan over his 13 years of playing for the Dallas Mavericks. He threw out the first pitch at a Rangers game this summer after leading the Mavs to their first NBA title and attended Game 6 of the American League championship series. He didn't make it to a World Series game last year when the Rangers played, so he was eager to attend — and take part — on Saturday night.

Nowitzki is still wearing a splint on the middle finger of his left hand — an injury he sustained during Game 2 of the NBA finals the Miami Heat. He aggravated it while playing for Germany in the European championships last month.

"I've got to keep it straight for, whatever, four, six weeks. But it doesn't bother me at all," he said.

Germany was knocked out of the Euros before the quarterfinals, eliminating its chances of making the 2012 London Olympics. Nowitzki said he hasn't touched a basketball since then.

"I've just been keeping in shape, you know, working out, doing lots of cardio and lifting a little bit and running," he said. "If the season will start any time soon, I think I'll be ready."

Nowitzki said it was very disappointing that the latest round of NBA labor talks didn't produce a settlement.

"We're all hoping, I guess, with the mediator, that something was going to happen, and just talks broke off, so it's very unfortunate," he said. "Hopefully we can get something going here any time soon. But it doesn't look good."

Nowitzki said there are several parallels between the Rangers' quest for their first championship and the Mavs' winning their first, such as a late rally to win Game 2 and level the series at 1-1 before heading home.

The Mavs won the championship on their second try and this is the Rangers' second trip to the World Series.

"Hopefully, they'll learn from last year like we did in '06 and just be able to close it out," he said. "That would be awesome for the (Dallas-Fort Worth) Metroplex to do it in the same year, get a championship and have another parade." (AP)

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