Luka Doncic’s MRI on his injured thigh came back clean on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski reports that Doncic will return “as soon as discomfort allows him.”
Doncic picked up the injury sometime after the All-Star break, perhaps during the loss to the Suns on Sunday. Doncic was never listed on the injury report in the last few games against the Jazz and Pelicans, but Doncic left the game in the third quarter due to said thigh injury.
After the game, Doncic’s assessment felt rather bleak. He told reporters after the game that he was feeling “not good” and that the injury was limiting how well he could push off, run, and jump on the injured leg. That the MRI came back clean is definitely the best-case scenario.
Even with this news, it wouldn’t be shocking if the Mavericks held Doncic out of a game out of caution. The Mavericks next play the Memphis Grizzlies on the road Saturday, so maybe the two days off between games will help get Doncic right. The Mavericks are in a bit of a pickle with Doncic though — the team is sliding, having lost seven of its last 10, falling back to eighth place. The Western Conference standings are so tight, a single win or loss could vault the Mavericks up or down. Dallas has lost all margin for error and any ensuing losses in the next week could put the Mavericks outside of the play-in tournament entirely.
However, Doncic has clearly been laboring the last week, and perhaps the Mavericks would be better off with Doncic resting. While the team needs all the help it can get, Doncic at 60 percent can be more harm than good currently. We’ll see how the Mavericks respond.