Mavericks' Maxi Kleber Out Indefinitely Because of Knee, Hamstring Injuries

Adam WellsDecember 15, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 03: Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Mavericks in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 03, 2022 in New York City NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Dallas Mavericks defeated the New York Knicks 121-100. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks will be without Maxi Kleber for an extended period of time because of multiple injuries.

The team announced Kleber tore his right hamstring during practice Tuesday, and he has no timetable to return.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Kleber also sprained his right knee.

Kleber sat out the Mavs' 144-115 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday with right foot soreness. He returned Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder and had eight points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes.

Dallas was already thin in the frontcourt, and losing Kleber will force head coach Jason Kidd to make significant adjustments, particularly on defense.

"Kleber has proven instrumental to the Mavs' defense," Sports Illustrated's Grant Afseth wrote. "He is often trusted to slide over a small-ball 5 role to close games while deploying a switch-everything scheme while being capable of spacing out from beyond the three-point line on offense."

Kleber hasn't started a game this season, but he has averaged 25.6 minutes per game. Christian Wood is the only big on the roster who plays more than Kleber (26.2 minutes).

Kidd has been reluctant to use Wood in the starting lineup in part because he's a liability on defense.

Wood's only start this season came in Saturday's loss to the Bulls. It would be unfair to blame him for the Mavericks' defensive issues in that game. In addition to Kleber, Luka Dončić sat out with a quadricep strain.

If Kidd wants to keep using Wood as a sixth man, Dwight Powell will likely remain in the starting lineup. Wood will be the primary backup, and JaVale McGee will get time off the bench.

The Mavericks have lost three of their last four games. Their 14-14 record ranks ninth in the Western Conference.