After the Mavericks' hard-luck loss to Golden State early Friday morning Dallas time, Dirk Nowitzki didn't sound real optimistic about his chances of playing in Phoenix less than 20 hours later.

Nowitzki missed the game because of a strained right adductor. The good news is he said it doesn't appear to be related in any way to his right knee, on which he had surgery in October.

"I don't think so," he said when asked if it was connected to any knee problem. "I just made a move or a turn and there was a couple minutes left (in the Portland game Tuesday). I don't think it has anything to do with the knee. The knee's been responding fine and it hasn't been swollen at all.

"It's just Father Time, bro."

That's a reference to the infamous line uttered by Charles Barkley regarding Nowitzki's difficulties early last season.

"That stuff happens," he said. "I never pulled a muscle in my whole career. So I guess this is the first one."

He showed that he hasn't lost his sense of humor, though, when he was asked about his availability for the Phoenix game.

"I need that good Deer Antler's thing," he said. "But I don't know if 24 hours is changing much. It's a tough back-to-back.

"We'll see what happens tomorrow night, see if I even try to go. But hopefully Monday (in Oklahoma City). We'll see how it responds this weekend."

Coach Rick Carlisle said: "It's doubtful. It's possible, but doubtful. We're not going to risk anything right now."