Luka Doncic injures left ankle: Exits in 1st quarter versus Suns: Unable to return

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was named an All-Star starter for the third time in four years on Thursday night, but things quickly turned sour when he took the court in Phoenix just hours after the honor. Just over three minutes into the game against the Suns, Doncic tried to pivot when he stepped on Cam Johnson's foot and rolled his ankle. Number 77 tried to say in the game, but head coach Jason Kidd quickly took a timeout for Luka to exit.

Doncic immediately went back to the locker room with head athletic trainer Casey Smith, and he did not return. Luka wears a brace on that ankle, and he has had issues with it before. He missed his only two field goal attempts on Thursday night and grabbed just one rebound before exiting with the injury.

Luka missed the remainder of the first quarter before being ruled out for the remainder of the game with a sprained left ankle. Chris Haynes reported X-rays were negative, but missing the rest of the conest is not a strong sign, and it appears he will miss additional time. The Mavericks are currently in a funk, and they have a difficult stretch of games ahead. It is a bad time to be without Doncic, but who will step up without the 23-year-old?

Luka Doncic injures left ankle: Exits in 1st quarter versus Suns: Unable to return

Luka is the engine of the Mavericks' attack, and they will be down to just Spencer Dinwiddie as a primary creator for however much time Doncic is forced to miss. Jaden Hardy and McKinley Wright IV will likely play the backup point guard minutes, but Dallas will put a massive workload on Dinwiddie’s shoulders as they try to salvage any games number 77 is forced to miss.

Josh Green entered the game for Doncic when he headed back to the locker room. He will likely take Luka's place in the starting five if number 77 misses additional time. Green provides energy and defense, but Dallas will need multiple players to step up their scoring.

Head coach Jason Kidd announced pregame that Christian Wood would miss at least another week with his thumb injury, so Tim Hardaway Jr. will have to step up as the Mavs' second-leading scorer. Luka's injury could force Dallas to make a trade as they attempt to stay afloat without number 77 in the lineup.

Doncic was having the best season of his NBA career. He was leading the league in scoring and among the frontrunners for MVP before Thursday’s injury. Hopefully, Luka can make a quick recovery and get back on the floor in short order.

Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on Luka Doncic’s ankle injury and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks news that fans crave. Do not miss it.

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