Luka Dončić (left calf strain) will not return to tonight’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) April 11, 2022
Doncic came down awkwardly after a pass at the 2:30 mark of the third quarter with the Mavericks up 16 against the rival San Antonio Spurs.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojarowski tweeted soon after that the Mavericks are initially optimistic about the injury:
There’s initial optimism that Dallas star Luka Doncic hasn’t suffered a significant injury, source tells ESPN. Team is calling it a strained left calf.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 11, 2022
Injury analyst Jeff Stott notes the wide range of outcomes for similar injuries this season:
Re: Luka: There’s a lot of variability in calf strains. The calf is actually a muscle complex made up of multiple muscles. Severity & location will factor into resulting recovery. Average time lost for calf strains in the NBA this season was 16 days (median 17, minimum = 3 days)— Jeff Stotts (@InStreetClothes) April 11, 2022
Dr. Rajpal Brar, a physical therapist and SB Nation contributor, had this video round up explaining what we know about the injury so far in medical detail.
As the Mavericks play Saturday afternoon at 12:00 pm, this injury could not have come at a worse time for Dallas.
It was not entirely clear why Luka Doncic and the other starters were in the game at all. The Mavericks and Golden State Warriors were each still hoping to grab the three seed in the Western Conference playoff race, but the Warriors were up on the Pelicans by 20 at half time.
As Luka Doncic is who he is, there’s a sense of optimism surrounding whether he’ll be available for the opening tip Saturday. In postgame, Jalen Brunson told reporters, “For some reason, I believe he’ll be ready to go, the competitor that he is.”
At the moment, that’s all we can hope for as well. We’ll update this story as more information becomes available.