Tuesday afternoon, Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle addressed the media after the team’s practice and gave an update on Maxi Kleber. Listening to Carlisle, it sounds like Kleber’s status for the upcoming playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers could be uncertain.
“He’s making some progress,” Carlisle said. “He did a little bit today. We had a non-contact, technique-oriented practice today with a lot of shooting. We didn’t do any grinding or contact, per se. He did some light shooting today. The hope is that he can do a little bit more tomorrow. We’re hopeful that he’s going to be OK, but it’s early here. Tomorrow’s going to be a big day to see how he’s progressed.”
The Mavericks are holding another practice Wednesday as they prepare for the postseason. Hopefully, we’ll know more about Kleber’s possible return from injury then.
Kleber missed six of the Mavericks’ last eight games with what the team calls right Achilles soreness. If he isn’t able to suit up to start the series, then Dallas will be without one of its best defenders. That will make the task of guarding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George all the more difficult.
Carlisle understands what Kleber means to the team and their chances to slow down those players. Unfortunately, he doesn’t sound optimistic about a speedy recovery for Kleber.
“He’s very important,” Carlisle said. “He’s one of our top two or three defenders. We’re doing everything possible to get him ready here. We hope Mother Nature is as cooperative to the extent she can be. He’s been doing a lot of work with his rehab. Casey [Smith] and Dionne [Calhoun] have been doing a lot of work with him as well. We’ll proceed and hope for the best.”