DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Dirk Nowitzki’s debut in his record 21st season with the Dallas Mavericks won’t be in the opener.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Friday the 40-year-old Nowitzki will miss “multiple weeks” with a longer-than-expected recovery from left ankle surgery in April.

gettyimages 1047086610 e1539371298802 Dirk To Miss Start Of Season For Mavericks Due To Left Ankle Issues

Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks walks off the court after the preseason game against the Beijing Ducks at American Airlines Center on September 29, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Mavericks open the season Wednesday in Phoenix.

Nowitzki said he had a setback when he started playing again about a week before training camp. He hasn’t practiced in the preseason.

The surgery just before the end of last season was to remove bone spurs.

Carlisle said the 13-time All-Star was doing better but hasn’t done any significant work on the court.

The Mavericks finished to 2017-18 with a 24-58 record.

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