DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Will Dirk Nowitzki’s return to the Mavs court be a Christmas gift? A New Year’s resolution? It is certainly a cause for celebration as of Wednesday afternoon, as the iconic star engaged in his first full-contact practice of the season. He’s missed the year so far after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery before the start of the season. But … Dirk’s back!

Dirk Nowitzki’s return to the Dallas Mavericks’ AAC practice floor is a glorious start to this holiday season … and figures to be a glorious addition to his team’s season as well.

Nowitzki, 34, stepped up his work late last week when the team was on the road in Minnesota. DallasBasketball.com reported that he worked up a sweat while participating at some limited level on Monday.

And now we get word that The UberMan went through his first full-contact practice of the year on Wednesday.

This news probably has the networks frothing at the mouth in anticipation of Dirk making high-profile on-court news … but he’s said repeatedly that he’ll need a week after this step to take the next in-game step. So Thursday’s Miami-at-Dallas game isn’t the calendar-circle date here.

But a week or so from now, in time to bolster the staying-afloat Mavs at 12-13? That’s among the many questions that will get answered in this space over the course of the day and night.

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