On the first possession of last night's Pelicans/Mavericks game, Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki threw a pass to Samuel Dalembert and then grabbed his left shoulder and appeared to be in extreme pain. He checked himself out of the game immediately, ran towards the locker room, and looked like he was going to be done for the night, less than 30 seconds into the contest. But within just three minutes, Nowitzki had returned to the sideline and was ready to check back into the game. So what in the world happened?

Well, after the game, reporters asked Nowitzki about his injured shoulder. And according to him, it's actually not a big deal. It's an injury that he's been playing with for a long, long, long time now. And he proved it by talking about the NBA superstar who originally caused the injury.

"Ever since Karl Malone hacked me in '99, the shoulder sometimes come in and out a little bit," he said. "I walked it out in the tunnel and was able to finish the game. It's happened a good 20 times in my career."

Wait, did he just say Karl Malone?! Geesh. That is an old injury. And it doesn't sound like Dirk is going to get rid of it anytime soon. That must have been one hell of a hack.

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[via Mavs Moneyball]