Though he is improving, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic isn't ready to return to the court just yet.
Doncic, who strained his calf in their regular season finale last week, was officially ruled out of Game 2 of their playoff series against the Utah Jazz on Monday afternoon. While he has started working out again, he needed "dramatic" improvement in order to be cleared to play on Monday — something that clearly didn't happen.
"Yesterday was another good day, and today he's back on the court, so that's a plus," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said on Sunday, via ESPN. "And we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
Doncic strained his calf on April 10 in their final game of the season against the San Antonio Spurs, and he missed Dallas’ 99-93 loss to the Jazz in Game 1 on Saturday afternoon.
He has started working out since the injury, and was seen working in the weight room and shooting around on the floor on Sunday. The Jazz have opened as -5.5 point favorites in the matchup on BetMGM.
Jason Kidd: ‘We have to go forward’
The Mavericks are just 8-10 so far this season without Doncic available, and they frequently struggled to get offense moving without him on the court on Saturday.
The 23-year-old has averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists so far this season.
While he won’t be able to play until Game 3 of the series on Thursday at best, Kidd is just trying to push forward.
"If he can't play, we have to go forward," Kidd said, via ESPN. "We showed that already in Game 1. If it happens in Game 2, then that's the way we have to go. That's just the way sport can be sometimes.
"Injuries come at the wrong time. Luka's injury came at the wrong time, but we can't cry over spilled milk. We're all professionals and we understand what the situation is. If he can go, that doesn't automatically mean we're going to win games, but we feel better if he is on the floor. Hopefully, he can get on the floor soon."