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Luka Doncic will reportedly miss Saturday's Game 1 against the Jazz


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SALT LAKE CITY — Dallas All-Star Luka Doncic is expected to miss Game 1 of the Utah-Dallas first-round series Saturday, according to a report from The Athletic.

Doncic suffered a left-calf strain on Sunday during the Mavericks' season-finale win over the San Antonio Spurs. Doncic underwent an MRI on Monday, confirming the left-calf strain; but other than that, the Mavericks have been coy on Doncic's status.

The Mavericks haven't put a timetable on his return and didn't reveal how severe the strain was. The average return time for an NBA player from a calf strain is between two to three weeks.

For Doncic to return in five days always seemed a bit optimistic, but with around-the-clock treatment there was some hope that Doncic could beat those odds. Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie even said on Tuesday that Doncic doesn't "seem like a guy that's going to miss too much time, if any."

On Tuesday, Doncic rode an exercise bike during practice; on Thursday, before practice, he ran on a treadmill. Following the Dallas's practice, during the portion available to the media, Doncic spent a few minutes in the weight room with members of the Mavericks' medical staff.

"He's progressing," coach Jason Kidd said after the team's practice Thursday. "He's doing good. Didn't practice, but is in good spirits and had a good day. ... He's smiling and he's happy. He's in good spirits, and it looks like he's improving."

But apparently not enough for him to be ready for the series opener; though, Dallas has not officially ruled Doncic out yet. The Mavericks will have to submit a formal injury report Friday, though it's not expected for Doncic's status to be official until near game time on Saturday.

Regardless, the Jazz are expecting a tough challenge with or without Doncic in the Dallas lineup.

"They also have a lot of guys that can fill his role, maybe not to the full extent, but they can do that," Donovan Mitchell said. "You've got Jalen Brunson, you've got Dinwiddie. ... They've still got guys over there who can go get it and they're still a dangerous team."

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