Dirk Nowitzki will likely not return to the Dallas Mavericks starting lineup until after the New Year.

Nowitzki resumed basketball related activities Wednesday after a six-week rehabilitation from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

“It (the knee) is better,” Nowitzki said. “But now, obviously, not doing anything for six weeks, there’s a lot of strength that you lose. Your quad muscle gets weak. And so the last week or so we increased the work load and tried to get the quad strength back."

Nowitzki had initially hoped to return by mid-December.

“We said from the beginning the only way I could get back on the court was when the swelling is gone and the quad strength is back," he said. "And so we got a long way to go.

“Now, it’s already December 5th. I don’t think middle of December is happening now to be honest. That was my goal a couple weeks ago. But the swelling was in there too long and it held me back too long and I couldn’t start working soon enough.”