Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who has jumped into MVP candidacy after winning Rookie of the Year last season, exited early in Saturday’s game with an ankle injury.
Doncic appeared to turn his ankle on the foot of Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn while driving into the lane. He had to be helped off the court and into the locker room while a stunned Dallas crowd looked on.
Scary moment in Dallas, as @luka7doncic leaves the game against the @MiamiHEAT early after rolling his ankle. He hopped off the court and wasn't putting any weight on his right foot.— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) December 15, 2019
Here's hoping for a speedy recovery 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/GA7XG7113o
A subsequent close-up of the injury was not encouraging.
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game, a 122-118 overtime loss for the Mavericks, that he doesn’t expect Doncic to play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
The good news is Doncic was reportedly seen using an underwater treadmill with supervision at halftime, a sign the sprain isn’t severe. The bad news is that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the sprain is “moderate,” which could mean Doncic is out for multiple games.
Any time lost for Doncic would still be an awful break for the Mavericks, who have hurtled into playoff contention thanks to the Slovenian’s play. The Mavericks currently hold the third-best record in the Western Conference at 17-7.
Entering Saturday, Doncic was averaging 30.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game with a .619 true-shooting percentage. He held a (now-snapped) 20-game streak of posting at least 20 points, five assists and five rebounds, the longest streak by any player not named Oscar Robertson. Simply put, he has been one of the five best players in the league this year at the age of 20.
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