Doncic, ‘uncertain’ for J3; close to return

DALLAS – The recovery of the Dallas Mavericks superstar shooting guard, Luka Doncić, from a left calf strain has progressed to the point that there is legitimate hope he could return when the first-round series with the Utah Jazz moves to Salt Lake City this week, sources said. ESPN.

A source told ESPN that Doncic’s status for Thursday’s Game 3 was “uncertain,” saying the guard was going “day to day.” Another source said that while there is hope Doncic could return for Game 3, “it wasn’t a sure thing.”

The Mavericks were off Tuesday, but Doncic continued his rehab work, which has included gradually increasing basketball activities. How Doncic’s calf responds to Tuesday’s workout and Wednesday’s practice, which will determine his participation, will be critical to his chances of returning this week.

Dallas evened the series with Monday’s 110-104 home win, led by shooting guard’s career-high 41 points. Jalen Brunson while Doncic cheered enthusiastically.

Doncic suffered the calf strain during the Mavericks’ regular-season finale on April 10.

The average calf strain absence for NBA players this season has been 16 days, according to data compiled by The reserve guard of the Mavericks, Frank Ntilikina, returned from a calf strain in 12 days earlier this season. Game 3 will be 11 days after Doncic was injured.

“I know he’s dying to play soon, but he’s got to take his time,” Brunson said after Monday’s win. “I know he’s doing everything in his power to not let his team down, but he has to make the decision that’s best for him. Not necessarily knowing where he is. [en el proceso de recuperación], but I just know he’s a competitor and he wants to be out there. We’re trying to keep it under control for him.”

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Doncic, ‘uncertain’ for J3; close to return