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Luka Doncic ready to return vs. Spurs tonight

Mavericks' star was a full participant in practice on Christmas Eve

The Dallas Mavericks will receive a late Christmas gift on Thursday — the return of Luka Doncic.

The team’s second-year star was a full participant in practice on Christmas Eve and, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the Mavericks expect him to return against the San Antonio Spurs tonight (8 ET, TNT).

Coach Rick Carlisle confirmed the news during an interview on a Dallas sports radio show on Thursday afternoon.

Doncic has been sidelined since he rolled his ankle against the Miami Heat on Dec. 14. He was diagnosed with a lateral right ankle sprain and expected to miss a couple of weeks.

“I’m feeling good,” Doncic said after practice on Tuesday. “Just taking care of it. [There’s] a lot of things that we have to do, and we’re just taking care of it. We’ll see how it progresses, and we’ll see if I play.”

The Mavericks have kept their heads above water with Doncic sidelined, posting a record of 2-2 on the road against four of the top teams in the East, including wins over the Bucks and 76ers.

Doncic has been playing at an MVP-level this season with averages of 29.3 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.9 assists over 25 games.

In addition to his potential return to the floor, the 20-year-old from Slovenia officially signed with Jordan Brand on Thursday. The contract is expected to be a five-year deal, according to ESPN.