Fans of the Dallas Mavericks held their collective breaths as they watched Luka Doncic limp off the floor in the third quarter of Game 3. At the time, it looked like an injury that might sideline the young star for the remainder of the game, if not longer. That wouldn’t be the case, however.
Doncic soon returned to the bench and reentered the game. Given the state of the game against the Los Angeles Clippers—the Mavericks never led after the first quarter—there were questions about whether it was wise for Doncic to return.
Regardless of of the reasoning behind the decision, Doncic gutted it out and played a handful more minutes before being taken out of the game for good with nine minutes left in the fourth and the Mavs trailing, 110-95.
An MRI is planned for Saturday.
Here’s Luka Doncic walking out of the arena. He says his ankle injury isn’t that bad, but will have an MRI tomorrow. Significant that Sunday’s game is early. pic.twitter.com/NQVxDEJ5og— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) August 22, 2020
After the game, the team spoke about the injury:
“I don’t know how it happened but it’s not that bad. I had luck; it’s my left ankle, it’s not my right. It’s a little sprain. We’ll know more tomorrow.”
“I just wanted to get in. I know we still had a chance to win. I wanted to help my teammates. I could run a little bit but I couldn’t push off of my left leg. It was better to go out and let somebody [else] play.”
“I don’t think [I could finish the game]. I could run but I couldn’t push off my left leg. We have great players, so it’s better to go with someone who can go 100 percent.”
“I’m unsure of the exact severity of Luka’s left ankle. One of the good things is it’s the good ankle, it’s not the one that he’s sprained a few times in the last couple years. We’ll know more tomorrow. He did come back and try it, obviously, and wasn’t moving great. We’ll see where he is come tomorrow and Sunday morning.”
“He went and got re-taped, and our trainer told me that he wants to give it a go. The answer’s going to be, ‘yes, yeah, okay let’s go.’ That’s what we did. It’s hard to say how this is going to be. The game is early Sunday, which doesn’t help with things, but we’ll see. We’ve got every advanced treatment modality that you can have, as every team here does. We’ll see how this responds in the next 36 hours.”
“He was not moving well and there was a gesture that this was not working out. To my knowledge, there was no further progression of the injury or anything like that. He just couldn’t play his game. The right thing was to get him out at that point. He (made the gesture). He just said I can’t move. He didn’t say anything, you could just tell.”
“Obviously Luka being out wasn’t good for us. You know when he tried to come back then his ankle wasn’t right. We need him for the next game, next games, and hopefully the medical staff can get him right so he can be back with us next game.”
“I was locked into the game. I saw him go down and hopefully he is good and able to bounce back next game but, like I said, I was locked into the game and trying to get the win and hoping he can come back .”
Tim Hardaway Jr.
“Can we still make a run? It’s only 2-1 [in the series]. Last time I checked it’s the first one to four wins. So we’ll figure out what Luka’s doing tomorrow but right now let’s go back home, watch film, and see what the doctors and our PT staff says on Luka. But I don’t have [any] word.”