Luka Doncic remains out with a right ankle sprain against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, while big men Dereck Lively and Maxi Kleber were upgraded to questionable, the Mavericks announced through their injury report released Friday.
Dante Exum also remains out with a right plantar sprain. Grant Williams is probable with a right ankle sprain and Josh Green was added to the report as questionable, although with a non-COVID illness.
This will be Doncic’s second straight missed game after aggravating a nagging sore ankle against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. Doncic has also been dealing with a sore calf, so it makes sense to get him right instead of forcing him to labor through games, especially with Kyrie Irving healthy and playing well.
Lively and Kleber’s upgrades are quite the treat for Mavericks fans, as Dallas desperately misses its big man depth. Lively has missed the last four games with a left ankle sprain, the same one that caused him to miss time earlier in December. Kleber has only played five games total this season thanks to a dislocated pinky toe. Kleber originally picked up the injury on Nov. 1 against Chicago, sat out a week, tried to come back Nov. 8 against the Raptors, and has been out ever since. It remains to be see if either will play Saturday night against the Pelicans, but the duos upgrade to questionable means a return is immanent.
Dallas plays the sixth game of a seven-game homestand against the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday at 7:30 p.m.