The injury to Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic is being considered as a “manageable ankle sprain,” according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Doncic suffered the injury in practice, which many people linked to the previous ankle injury that caused him to miss four games earlier in the season.
There was some concern that the injury would be reason enough to force Doncic to miss his first-ever All-Star appearance, yet it seems he should be able to return plenty prior the All-Star break and even participate in the Rising Stars and All-Star Game festivities.
Doncic has been on a tear in his second season, going from the Rookie of the Year to one of the serious candidates for the Most Valuable Player award. His averages of 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game are unparalleled in Mavs history, making him a gem to keep.
The Slovenian star is still without a timetable to return, but if the sprain is “manageable” as they say, it should be a matter of swelling and pain-management, allowing him to return within the next few days.
Doncic has already been ruled out for the Mavs’ Friday game against the Houston Rockets, but the Mavericks won’t be the only ones playing short-handed. The Rockets will be without Clint Capela due to a right heel contusion, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
While it isn’t quite leveling out the playing field, it should give newcomer Willie Cauley-Stein and other bigs a chance to exploit the Rockets’ interior defense, which has proven shaky at best.