On Sunday, Deron Williams' status for the Mavericks' season opener on Oct. 28 against the Phoenix Suns was finally brought into question with a calf injury that will keep him out for the entirety of the preseason. For Williams, whose success over the past few seasons has been almost directly related to his relative health, it's an ominous sign to start the season.
Williams came to Dallas, in part, due to a well-regarded medical staff. Unfortunately, the calf injury occurred even before Mavericks media day and he's been dealing with the injury ever since. At media day, it was supposed to keep him out for a matter of days. Here's a quick look back at his injury.
September 28 (media day)
Rick Carlisle revealed Williams had suffered the injury in his press conference to open the day.
"He had a little bit of a calf strain last week in some of the running," Carlisle said. "He may be a little bit limited at the very beginning of training camp, but he will participate some. It may just take him a couple of days for him to get back up to speed."
The issue was seen so unimportant that it was not even mentioned to Williams in his personal press conference shortly afterwards. Carlisle also said this about Williams:
"The important thing there is his health. With the beginning of last year, he was coming off double ankle surgery so it limited him. Late in the year, he had a really good run and his health was very good. We've got to help him continue the momentum with good health."
First week of training camp
At some point, Carlisle was asked if this was an injury that would threaten Williams' ability to play in preseason games. Carlisle didn't or wouldn't give a timetable for his return.
The Mavericks played their first preseason game. Williams was inactive.
ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon reported this: "Deron Williams went through contact work for the first time this preseason after dealing with a calf strain. However, the Mavs pulled him out of practice when his other calf tightened up."
Finally, 10 days away from the Mavericks' season opener, Williams' status for the game was officially put into jeopardy.
"He's doing better, but he will not play in the exhibition games," Carlisle said. "We'll see if we can get him ready for the opener. It's been a frustrating thing for him, but we're making progress. We'll get there. I just don't have a timetable."