Report: Nowitzki to make season debut Thursday
Glenn James / National Basketball Association / Getty

Dirk Nowitzki's record-setting 21st season in the Association with the Dallas Mavericks will reportedly begin Thursday night against the Phoenix Suns, league sources told ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

The 40-year-old veteran has yet to take the floor after undergoing surgery in April to remove bone spurs from his left ankle.

He suffered a setback prior to training camp as a result of taking part in pickup games which made the tendon in his left foot flare up.

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle had Nowitzki listed as questionable for Wednesday's 114-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, but noted that he was "getting closer" to returning.

Nowitzki will become the first player in NBA history to suit up for 21 seasons with the same franchise. The only other player to do so for 20 seasons was Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis, and Vince Carter all reached the 21-season mark, but played for multiple teams throughout their respective careers.

Nowitzki is a 13-time All-Star who guided Dallas to its only championship win in 2011 as the Finals Most Valuable Player. He currently sits as the Mavericks' all-time leader in games played, minutes played, points, free throws, 3-pointers, rebounds, and blocks.

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Report: Nowitzki to make season debut Thursday
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