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Mavs BREAKING: Luka Doncic OUT for Dallas with COVID

“Everything is changing by the hour,” Kidd said. “Things just change. You just have to adjust.''
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DALLAS - In what seems like a blink-of-an-eye ago, Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd on Tuesday announced that Luka Doncic, out with an ankle injury, has a chance of returning to action on Thursday when the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks visit American Airlines Center.

The eye just blinked again.

Doncic, who missed his fifth consecutive game Tuesday while dealing with soreness in his left ankle, is now as of Wednesday in the noon hour entering the NBA's COVID protocol, as first noted by ESPN. 

The injury has been an issue for the perennial MVP candidate Doncic, 22, since mid-November, and along with a knee problem, his problems have meant him having missed nine of the last 17 games.

And now he will miss some more.

What Kidd said about Luka on Tuesday: “Hopefully, we’ll get him back for Thursday. So that means things are going well. Unfortunately with the protocols, practices are limited to none. So guys are going to have to do it individually. He’s been out for some time. His conditioning is going to be a little bit behind. But he’ll be fine.”

What Kidd also said, however, about the team's COVID-19 issue in general, which on Wednesday is reportedly also taking down guard Trey Burke: “Everything is changing by the hour. Coming in to test this morning, we had Timmy. And we lose Timmy with the test. Things just change. You just have to adjust, and then put your guys in position to be successful and find a way to win. Just stay positive. There’s a lot of opportunities for guys to play on the biggest stage now. We’re signing guys left and right. You just got to stay positive.”

That's a reference to Tim Hardaway Jr., who on Tuesday went on the list, adding to Dallas' issues. The Mavs fielded a makeshift team of newly-signed G-League players to win over Minnesota on Tuesday, and will be faced with a similar task against the Bucks. (Here's the list of newcomers, which now includes Brandon Knight.)

But unavailable to help are Doncic's 25.6 points, 8.5 assists and 8 rebounds per game - and this team in general, naturally, does not play well without Doncic, as Dallas is 6-11 in games without him since he was first injured against Denver on Nov. 15.