Sadly, injuries are a part of sports, especially when it comes to the key stretch of the season. Needless to say, the NBA isn't the exception to that rule, as you can tell by Dallas Mavericks' star Luka Doncic.

Doncic was perfectly fine just a couple of days ago. Then, all of a sudden, he suffered a neck strain that clearly bothered in Game 4 of the first-round series, and it could put his availability for the remainder of the season in jeopardy.

The Mavericks star was clearly in pain and was far from his usual self. The Los Angeles Clippers made the most of that to even up the series at 2 after falling to a 0-2 hole in the first two games.

Rick Carlisle Says Luka Doncic Is In Extreme Pain

But more than losing a couple of games in a row, the Dallas Mavericks should be concerned about what's to come, as coach Rick Carlisle shared an unencouraging update on his star's status:

“He’s in pain. It appeared to me that he couldn’t turn left, couldn’t look to his left, and that’s difficult for a guy that relies on peripheral vision and basically has played his whole life with his head on a swivel," Carlisle said.

Doncic didn't want to read too much into his injury and said that it wasn't an excuse for the way he played in Game 4. He said that he will just put some ice on it and move on to the next game.

"I don't think that's important right now. We just lost, but I played terrible, so we just got to move on to the next one," Doncic stated.

Then again, that may not be entirely up to him going forward. He had to be cleared to play and was pretty much a game-time-decision Sunday night, so there's a chance he's forced to miss at least one game.

It goes without saying that the Dallas Mavericks simply don't stand a chance against the Los Angeles Clippers - or any other playoff team - without their best player, so hopefully, this injury will go away in time for Game 5.