NBA regular season

Mavericks star Luka Doncic in health protocol

Mavericks star Luka Doncic in health protocol

INJURED. Prior to entering health and safety protocol, Luka Doncic has been sidelined due to an ankle injury.

Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Luka Doncic joins Mavericks teammates Maxi Kleber, Josh Green, and Trey Burke in the NBA's health and safety protocol

Just when the Dallas Mavericks hoped star Luka Doncic was nearing a return from an ankle injury, he has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol, multiple outlets reported Wednesday, December 22 (Thursday, December 23, Manila time).

Trey Burke also entered the protocol, per The Athletic.

Doncic sprained his left ankle on November 15 in a 111-101 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He aggravated it in the third quarter of their December 10 loss to the Indianapolis Pacers. He played 37 minutes in that games, scoring 17 points and posting 9 rebounds and 9 assists, but has missed the past five games.

On the season, the 22-year-old Doncic is averaging 25.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in 35 minutes per game. The two-time First-Team All-NBA performer has averaged 25.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists over 220 career games (all starts).

Burke, 29, has spent parts of four seasons with the Mavericks. In 18 games off the bench this season, he is averaging 7.5 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 rebounds.

In nine NBA seasons (474 games) with the Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Mavericks, Burke has career averages of 9.9 points, 3.2 assists, and 1.8 rebounds.

For the Mavericks, power forward Maxi Kleber and guard Josh Green also are in the protocol, and big man Kristaps Porzingis is nursing a sore right foot.

The Mavericks are scheduled to host the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, then travel to Utah to meet the Jazz in a Christmas night showdown. –