Mavs’ Doncic sidelined again with ankle injury

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic injured his right ankle again in practice Thursday and will miss the NBA team’s Friday game against the Houston Rockets, coach Rick Carlisle said.

Carlisle said Doncic wouldn’t make the trip to Houston and would undergo an MRI exam. He offered no further details on the severity of the injury.

“We obviously hope it’s not serious,” Carlisle said, “but don’t know.”

The 20-year-old Slovenian star, who is scheduled to make his first All-Star Game start in Chicago next month, missed four games in mid-December with a sprained right ankle.

Mavericks guard J.J. Barea said after practice that Doncic “stepped on somebody” and “hopefully it’s not that long” before he returns.

Barea spent time talking with Doncic as he received treatment after practice.

“He’s a tough kid,” Barea said. “Any time you lose your best player, it’s not easy. But it gives an opportunity to other guys to play more minutes, more touches and get better as a team.”

Doncic is enjoying an outstanding second season, averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game. He was the youngest player to be voted an All-Star starter since LeBron James in 2005.

© Agence France-Presse