Dallas Mavs forward/center Dirk Nowitzki confirmed he will miss the 2018-19 season-opener against the Phoenix Suns, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Nowitzki was already expected to “miss weeks, not months” after a slow recovering from last season’s ankle surgery, one which he underwent early, missing the last four games of 2017-18 to give himself ample time for recovery.

Nowitzki, now a 40-year-old heading into a record-breaking 21st season with the Mavericks, poked fun at his inability to take the court, using his signature dry humor to bring a smile to an otherwise downer of a news story.

“I’ve been called the $5-million mascot already,” said Nowitzki with his humor already in mid-season form.