LOS ANGELES – Don’t expect Dirk Nowitzki to play in a game any time soon;

“We’re still looking at weeks at this point,” the Dallas Mavericks superstar forward said after Wednesday morning’s shootaround at the Staples Center. “I haven’t even started running on the court, I haven’t even started running quick on the treadmill.

“I’ve just been slowly jogging and seeing how the foot reacts. Unfortunately we’re still talking weeks over days.”

Nowitzki still hasn’t fully recovered after undergoing left ankle surgery back on Apr. 5. The 21-year veteran hasn’t gone through a full practice session this season, and acknowledged that a setback or two has slowed the timetable on his return to the game he dearly loves.

“We’re taking it super slow obviously now since we’ve had a couple of setbacks since we’ve increased the workload,” Nowitzki said. “So I’m just taking it slow, just started shooting, just started running a bit on the treadmill slow.

“But saying all of that, I’m starting really from zero. I haven’t had much court work, much running at all in weeks now, so hopefully we can increase here from day to day and maybe start running on the court soon. I think hopefully that’s the next step.”

And whenever his ankle completely heals and he’s ready to get back on the court, Nowitzki, 40, knows there’s another hurdle that he must clear.

“It’s going to be a fight to get back in game shape so I can stay out there and play a little bit,” he said. “It’s going to be a grind, but I’m going to make it fun and hopefully be out there soon.”

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