Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic to miss Game 1 vs. Utah Jazz due to calf strain

DALLAS -- Mavericks superstar guard Luka Doncic will miss Game 1 against the Utah Jazz because of his strained left calf, it was announced Saturday morning.

Significant concern remains for his availability for Game 2 on Monday, sources told ESPN.

Doncic has not practiced since suffering the injury in the third quarter of the Mavs' regular-season finale on Sunday. He has been undergoing extensive treatment and progressed to jogging on a treadmill during practice Thursday.

"He's day to day," said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, who was noncommittal when asked whether Doncic would do any on-court activities during practice Sunday.

The Mavericks will instead start Jalen Brunson, who averaged 16.3 points this season, at point guard Saturday.

Recovery timetables from calf strains vary based on factors that include the severity and location of the injury. The average time missed by NBA players who suffered calf strains this season was 16 days, according to information compiled by InStreetClothes.com.

The Mavs have declined to specify the grade of Doncic's strain or state an estimated timetable for his return.

Doncic, a two-time first-team All-NBA selection who averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists this season, has played despite injuries in his previous two playoff appearances.

In 2020, Doncic was listed as questionable for Game 4 against the LA Clippers because of a sprained ankle and was not cleared to play until after his pregame warmups. He had 43 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists in the Mavs' victory over the Clippers, which he capped with a game-winning, step-back 3-pointer to beat the buzzer.

In the 2021 series against the Clippers, Doncic suffered a cervical strain in Game 3, significantly limiting the range of motion in his neck. He struggled in Dallas' Game 4 loss but bounced back with a 42-point, 8-rebound, 14-assist performance in the Mavs' Game 5 win.

There is concern that Doncic could aggravate the calf strain, potentially sidelining him for the remainder of the playoffs, if he returns before the injury is fully healed.

"If he's hurt and he can't play, we're not going to roll him out there to jeopardize or put him in a situation to make things worse," Kidd said earlier this week.