With the NBA regular season weeks away, the injury bug is starting to hit everywhere, and the Dallas Mavericks are not an exception.
Newly acquired point guard Raymond Felton suffered a high sprain in his right ankle during the Dallas Mavericks’ preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Felton landed on the foot of Thunder swingman Anthony Morrow on a drive to the basket. He did not return to the game and left the American Airlines Center on crutches and wearing a protective boot.
Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that the injury will cause Felton to miss “an extended period of time”. He said that the team will give an update on the injury within 10 days. Ankle sprains usually heal within six to eight weeks depending upon its severity.
The injury will delay further Felton’s regular season debut with the Mavs as he is also due to serve a four game suspension at the start of the season due to a guilty plea on a federal gun charge last season. The 30-year old University of North Carolina product was acquired from the New York Knicks in the off-season in the same deal that brought back Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks. Felton is expected to play key minutes at point guard, backing up another newly acquired veteran playmaker in Jameer Nelson.
Ellis out, too
Felton’s injury comes after starting shooting guard Monta Ellis suffered a sprained left knee during last Thursday’s practice. Although Ellis is expected to miss the next two pre-season games, the injury is not considered serious. Coach Rick Carlisle said that the diagnostic tests did not reveal any structural damage to the knee. However, Carlisle added that Ellis will undergo treatment and rehab. An update on Ellis’ injury will be made early this week.
Before Ellis got hurt, star player Dirk Nowitzki also suffered a contusion on his right hip also in practice. Dirk missed the first two preseason games but is expected to play in the next game as he has been participating in the team shoot-around since last Friday.
Got to be healthy
Although the injuries to the Mavericks’ three key players are not really serious, the team has got to get healthy soon to start jelling together. It can be recalled that the Mavericks made one of the more major upgrades in the offseason by getting back Tyson Chandler from the Knicks and added Felton in the deal. They also signed Chandler Parsons, Jameer Nelson, Richard Jefferson and Al Farouq Aminu to help them in what is considered as their last title run in the Dirk Nowitzki era.