Although he isn’t in the injury report, and he hasn’t missed any games, Luka Doncic isn’t 100 percent healthy. The Dallas Mavericks’ superstar is currently dealing with a lingering left thigh issue that has been bothering him for a little while.
“Yeah, I have been dealing with it for the last week, so today was the worst,” Doncic said after the Mavericks fell to the Phoenix Suns 130-126 on Sunday. “I am just trying to keep going.”
Doncic said that neither he nor the team’s trainers know whether the problem is a bruise or a strain, because they don’t believe that it’s a contact injury. Before the game, Doncic had a heating pad on the area in question and did stretches while he was out of the game, Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported.
Luka Doncic just returned to the Mavs’ bench with manual therapist Casey Spangler. They did some stretching work in the back during Doncic’s normal rest period. He had a heating pad on his upper left leg pregame.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 5, 2023
While Doncic is playing through the pain, he knows it’s affecting his game. He isn’t able to lift off on the leg like he is used to doing.
“It’s when I try to shoot or jump, I feel like this leg is a bit weaker,” Doncic said. “Pain-wise, it’s a little bit but not too bad.”
Doncic was 8-23 on field goals overall and 1-9 on three-point attempts in the game. His most crucial missed shot came with seconds left in the game, when a bunny shot from the paint rimmed out. He would have tied the game at 128 had he made it.
Although he was playing through an injury, Doncic doesn’t credit it with being the reason he missed the shot.
“No, no. I just missed that one,” Doncic said. “I thought it was in, but I just missed it. One of my friends texted me saying ‘I would have even made that.’”
Regardless, Doncic’s left thigh issue is something to keep an eye on in the coming days. The Mavericks conclude their five-game homestand on Tuesday when they face the Utah Jazz.