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Dwight Powell suffers ruptured right Achilles tendon

Center will be out indefinitely after sustaining injury Tuesday vs. LA Clippers

Michael C. Wright

Michael C. Wright

DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell has suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon and will be out indefinitely, the team announced Wednesday, after he sustained the injury in the first quarter of last night’s 110-107 loss to the LA Clippers.

Per the team, Powell is currently weighing his surgical options and updates will be provided as appropriate.

Immediately after last night’s game, the Mavericks didn’t provide specifics about the severity of Powell’s injury. He was slated to undergo and an MRI exam today and coach Rick Carlisle said after the game he feared Powell had a “severe” injury.

“But we won’t know for sure until the diagnostic test is done,” Carlisle said Tuesday night. “It’s a real tough one.”

Coincidentally, Powell’s injury came just as the Mavericks welcomed back another center in Kristaps Porzingis, who had missed the previous 10 games with right knee soreness.

Powell went down with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter when his right leg gave out just two steps into an attempted drive to the basket. American Airlines Center went quiet as Powell writhed in pain on the floor, and eventually Mavericks athletic trainers helped the center to his feet and escorted him to the locker room.

Minutes later, the team confirmed the injury and announced Powell would not return. Subsequent replays appeared to capture a noticeable pop in Powells right calf, often indicative of a ruptured Achilles.

“He’s one of the soldiers of the franchise really,” Carlisle said. “But he’s an upbeat guy. And if the news ends up being the worst news, we’ve seen how [J.J.] Barea recovered [from a right Achilles tear suffered last January]. So, Dwight will get back there. But we don’t know yet. We’ll find out more tomorrow.”

The Mavericks are already considering potential options at center should Powell’s injury force him out of action for an extended period. Dallas could elect to play third-year reserve Maxi Kleber at the position, or it could decide to play small with Porzingis at the 5.

Kleber played nearly 32 minutes on Tuesday and contributed 8 points on 4-of-7 shooting with five rebounds and a pair of blocks.

Porzingis finished with 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting in his first game since Dec. 29, and took responsibility for Tuesday’s loss, which ended the team’s winning streak at four games. Porzingis played a little more than 27 minutes as he works his way back into the mix after a long absence.

“I was eager to get back on the court. It just sucks that we weren’t able to get a win,” Porzingis said. “I think that if I played just a little bit better, we’d have won the game. So, this loss is on me. That’s how I feel. I just have to play better for my team, for my guys, for my coaches. I know it’s my first game back and all that, but I always have high expectations for myself. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t able to shoot the ball better. It just wasn’t falling.”

Boban Marjanovic is another option. Marjanovic logged nearly 16 minutes against the Clippers, producing 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with seven rebounds and two blocks.

It’s expected Carlisle will experiment with those options as the Mavericks embark on a three-game road trip starting Thursday at Portland and ending Monday at Oklahoma City.

“We have to stick together and keep fighting, next man up,” Carlisle said.

Powell, 28, has started in 37 games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds. He’s been particularly effective around the rim, shooting 79% in the restricted area for the fourth-best mark among players with at least 100 attempts from that spot.

“Dwight has a really good mindset, a really strong mindset,” Porzingis said. “He’s going to be fine throughout the rehab if we get the worst news.”

Powell joined the Mavericks in 2015 as part of a trade involving Rajon Rondo and quickly became a major component of the team’s culture, which he has helped to advance after the retirement of future Hall of Fame Dirk Nowitzki.

Porzingis mentioned that Powell, the teams second-longest tenured player, has been “great for the culture that we’re trying to build,” while Carlisle described him as “a constant.”

“He is a constant team-first guy. He is a constant worker. He is a constant everything,” Carlisle said. “Guys like him define the culture that we want here. It doesn’t get much tougher than this if it ends up being what we fear it might, but he will be back regardless.”

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Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here , find his archive here and follow him on Twitter .

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