Mike Fisher for 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.comBy Mike Fisher

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – Dirk Nowitzki has joked that he’s using “deer antler spray” to recover from a leg-muscle strain and tonight in Oklahoma City, he’ll join the Dallas Mavericks in being put to the test by the 35-12 Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It’s OK,” said Nowitzki, who has missed the last two Mavs games with the injury. “I’ll give it a go.”

Even with Dirk, the Mavs haven’t been quite good enough in two meetings with OKC; Dallas is 0-2 in those games and Nowitzki is averaging just 13.5 points on 26.7-percent shooting. Meanwhile, other injury concerns are also among the game’s storylines, as Chris Kaman (concussion) did not make the trip and Vince Carter (illness) missed shootaround.

For the Thunder, Kevin Durant – who is averaging 46 points per game vs. Dallas this year – is not 100 percent due to a back injury.

Nowitzki missed 27 games to start the season following knee surgery. This strain is unrelated to that problem, he said — but the strain is also not fully healed.

“It’s going to be a little tight I guess, but if I wait till this is all gone, we might sit out another two weeks,” the 11-time All-Star told reporters in Oklahoma City. “I don’t know how a pulled muscle heals, so I’ll just try to give it a go. And if it’s just tight, then it’s fine. As long as it doesn’t grab me and doesn’t get worse during the game, I think that’s the major key. But I’ll try to get nice and loose, keep it warm during the game and try to give it a go.”

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