DALLAS – As he continues to recover from offseason right knee surgery, Dallas Mavericks center Salah Mejri will not play in Saturday night’s preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Tipoff is at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Center.
During the first four days of training camp, Mejri did not go full bore in all of the activities. Thus, knowing that Mejri isn’t completely healthy, the Mavs don’t want him to suffer any setbacks while playing in a meaningless preseason game.
“Salah has been limited every day,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’re hoping that he can continue to make gradual progress in live practices soon, but we don’t want setbacks and yo-yoing and all that kind of stuff.
“We want this to be something where he gets better and stays better.’’
Mejri underwent arthroscopic surgery for a right knee debridement on June 30. But after recovering from a leg injury, he was able to be an effective shot-blocker and rebounder late in the season for the Mavs.
In 34 games last season, Mejri averaged 3.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.06 blocks in only 11.7 minutes per contest. And in four playoff games he averaged 4.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.25 blocks in 19 minutes per contest.
For now, the Mavs are monitoring what Mejri is able to do in practice and believe his conditioning is not an issue at this point.
“He’s fine from a body type standpoint – weight is no issue,’’ Carlisle said. “But riding an elliptical isn’t the same thing as guarding Anthony Davis is an NBA game.
“It’s just something you can’t assimilate on a piece of exercise equipment.’’
Mejri will be the backup to starting center Andrew Bogut. The Mavs are just hoping he’ll be able to play at some point before the regular season starts on Oct. 26.
“He’ll get there,’’ Carlisle said. “He started out last year with a broken leg and he came out of that and had a solid year for us.
“The idea is to have minor surgery, clean it up and be in a better position to be healthier this year, so that’s our hope.’’