EDIT: Since publication, Rick Carlise, still in the giving spirit apparently, has confirmed that Luka will, in fact, be returning tonight against the Spurs. We’re back!
Speculation has abounded around when, exactly, Luka would be returning from the grade one sprained ankle he suffered in the December 14th game against the Miami Heat. A tweet this morning from ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon offers some clarity on that question and some hope to those who were pulling for Luka to return sooner rather than later
Sources: The Mavs are planning for Luka Doncic to make his return from a sprained right ankle tonight against the Spurs. He has missed last four games and is officially listed as questionable.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 26, 2019
This maybe doesn’t come as a huge shock after we had sightings of Doncic running wind sprints before the Sixers game on the 20th, just six days after he injured his ankle. Oh, to be 20 again… and have a team of medical professionals at your beck and call.
If true, the news will certainly come as a welcome reprieve for Mavericks’ fans. The Luka-less stretch, while not the shellacking many feared it could be thanks to Porzingis and company stepping up, no doubt left some thinking, “it feels like having our 6’8”, MVP-level point guard could have maybe flipped this to a win.”
There was some deal of scuttlebutt and pundit prognosticating as to Luka’s return date. An initially incorrectly translated Slovenian interview with Doncic’s mother seemed like his return could be as far out of early January, while many armchair doctors penciled in his return for the Lakers game on the 29th. Surely, Luka wouldn’t let an ankle keep him from squaring off against LeBron again, right? Well, with MacMahon’s tweet the latest and seemingly most credentialed entry to the “when is Luka back?” sweepstakes, fans can now officially/unofficially get their hopes up that we’ll be seeing him as soon as tonight.
Officially, Doncic is listed as questionable, which in itself is a status upgrade. It seems doubtful that Doncic’s playing status will be known with 100 percent confidence before the team is required to release that news for the pregame injury report.