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Doncic cleared to play in Mavericks' season opener against Wembanyama, Spurs

Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic - The Canadian Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic will play in Victor Wembanyama’s debut with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

Doncic was listed as questionable with a left calf strain he sustained Oct. 9 but was cleared to play in the season opener for both teams after practicing.

He has not played since straining the calf as Dallas practiced for its exhibition game against Real Madrid on Oct 10 in Spain. Doncic was limited to 4:53 against the team he played three seasons for in the Euroleague before joining the Mavericks in 2018.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said the team will monitor Doncic, but there are no plans to restrict his minutes.

“He’ll come out when he’s tired,” Kidd said. “We’re not going to use the word restriction. He’s going to play, and we’ll see how he goes. We’ll be in communication with him as the game goes on. He could come out early. I don’t think he will play his normal whole first, but we’ll always check and see how he’s doing and then we’ll go from there.”

Doncic has also been bothered by a right thigh injury since February, but said there was no issue with it after Tuesday's practice.

The participation of the superstar from Slovenia gives fans a chance to see the initial battle between two of the most heralded players from Europe in the past six seasons.

Wembanyama is playing in his first game at 19 years old after being drafted No. 1 by the Spurs out of France. His combination of quickness and length at nearly 7-foot-4 has left observers awestruck during the preseason.

While he did not receive the fevered attention at the start of his career that now accompanies Wembanyama, Doncic quickly proved he was a star.

Doncic averaged a career-high 32.4 points last season and was named to his fourth straight All-NBA First Team.