The Dallas Mavericks need Luka Doncic if they are going to defeat the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, but he suffered a calf injury in the team’s regular-season finale. The team confirmed it’s a strain, but has been tight-lipped about when Luka would be able to return to the court.
Doncic was spotted riding a stationary bike at practice on April 13 with a compression sleeve on his injured left calf. The 23-year-old superstar was smiling and his spirits were high, according to head coach Jason Kidd. The team is doing round-the-clock treatment to have Luka ready for Game 1, but that may not be realistic.
Adrian Wojnarowski joined NBA Countdown ahead of the Hawks versus Hornets play-in game on April 13 where he offered an update on Luka’s status for Saturday’s series opener. Here is a look at the latest.
Luka Doncic unlikely to play in Game 1 of Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz
Woj said the following regarding Luka’s status with the calf injury.
"There is a lot of skepticism in Dallas right now that Luka Doncic will be ready for Game 1 on Saturday. Remember, that is the early game, 1 o’clock. He’s got the shortest window to that. I’m told that this is more than just a mild calf strain. Knowing Luka Doncic, how competitive he is, he’s going to want to try to play, but this is certainly an injury where you’re going to have to be able to move around and you could make it worse."
Woj went on to note that the organization is preparing to potentially not have Luka in the first two games of the series and that he would have no chance of playing this weekend if this were a regular-season contest.
The Dallas Mavericks have no reason to tip their hand on Luka’s status before the need to make an official determination on Friday evening. Let Doncic continue his treatment, and see how he is feeling ahead of Game 1. It appears unlikely he will play, and number 77 could miss multiple games with his calf strain.
The Mavs are just hoping Luka Doncic can play at some point in the series against the Utah Jazz. Dallas would be the favorite with a healthy Luka, so seeing him take the court at any point could swing the series in their favor. Stay tuned for updates and all the latest on Doncic at The Smoking Cuban.