Report: Mavericks' Luka Doncic to Clear COVID-19 Protocols Ahead of Thunder Game

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 1, 2022

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has reportedly cleared COVID-19 protocols and will rejoin the team ahead of Sunday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

Doncic entered the health and safety protocols on Dec. 22, causing him to miss five games, including the Christmas Day matchup with the Utah Jazz. 

The guard hasn't played since Dec. 10 with a sprained ankle, but he is now healthy and ready to contribute. Through 21 games this season, he is averaging 25.6 points, 8.5 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Doncic remains one of the league's top playmakers when healthy, earning first-team All-NBA honors in each of the past two seasons after winning Rookie of the Year in 2018-19. 

The 22-year-old is looking to take the Mavericks to the next level this season, but injuries and COVID-19 issues have led to a record of just a 17-18. The squad currently sits in eighth place in the Western Conference after five losses in the last eight games.

Bringing Doncic back into the fold should go a long way toward Dallas turning things around after a rough stretch.

With shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and power forward Maxi Kleber also set to return from the health and safety protocols, per MacMahon, the Mavericks should be a threat in the Western Conference going forward.