DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki revealed that he spent all season dealing with bone spurs in his left ankle that finally resulted in surgery last week.

The German star and long-time fan favorite has maintained that he planned to return next season, which would make him the first to play 21 seasons with the same franchise.

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Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The timing of the surgery was designed to give Nowitzki plenty of time to recover for his offseason regimen.

He said he would spend about three weeks in the walking boot he wore in his meeting with reporters before the game.

“I didn’t miss a lot of games this year,” said Nowitzki, who played 77 games, a record for a player in his 20th season.

“I felt fine most of the time. I always said all year that I want to fulfill that two-year contract if possible. I saw nothing this year that was going to stop it.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)