4:21pm: Coach Rick Carlisle said in an ESPN 103.3-FM interview that Doncic will miss at least six games, frequent ESPN contributor Tim Cowlishaw tweets.
12:17pm: Following an MRI today, Mavericks star Luka Doncic has been diagnosed with a moderate right ankle sprain, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Charania and Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) each cite a source who describes the injury as “manageable.”
As we relayed on Thursday, Doncic turned the ankle in a practice, and there was a belief that it was similar to the injury he suffered earlier in the season, which sidelined him for four games. A source confirms to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link) that today’s MRI confirmed this is in fact a similar sprain.
According to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links), the Mavs are relieved the injury isn’t any more serious, viewing the diagnosis as a best-case scenario. One source estimates to Townsend that Doncic could miss about two weeks, “give or take.”
With Doncic expected to miss some time, Dallas will lean more heavily on the likes of Jalen Brunson, J.J. Barea, and Delon Wright for ball-handling and play-making purposes. The Mavs have a firm hold on a playoff position but will want to get Doncic back soon to help them jockey for seeding.
The injury may also jeopardize Doncic’s availability for All-Star weekend. He was voted an All-Star starter and named to the Rising Stars game, but with the festivities in Chicago set to get underway two weeks from tonight, the second-year star may end up playing it safe and pulling out. That’s yet to be determined.