Latest posts by Don McCormack (see all)
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Dion Waiters said he will live up to his last name when it comes to having surgery on his left ankle, admitting to reporters Tuesday it will most likely take surgery to fully heal it.
However, Waiters, who missed is his second game for the Miami Heat on Tuesday night against visiting Orlando because of a recurrence of the same sprain that forced him to miss the last 13 games last season, was adamant the possible surgical procedure that may be necessary will not take place until the offseason.
“No,” Waiters, the former Cavaliers and Thunder guard, said. “Hell no.”
While there has not been a timetable established for his return to action for Miami, Waiters said he does not expect to miss a month as he did last March when he first sprained the ankle.
“I’ve played through it, though,” the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Waiters said. “I’ve got to. I’m not making any excuses. It is what it is. It’s something I don’t like to talk about because there’s nothing we really can do right now but try to take care of it, get it stronger, things like that.”
Averaging 14.3 points, 2.6 boards and 3.8 assists in 30.6 minutes in 30 games this season, the former top pick of the Cavaliers in the 2012 draft (fourth overall selection) admits he is frustrated.
“I don’t want to be in this predicament where it’s a little tweak you’ve got to miss a decent amount just off a little tweak,” the 26-year-old said. “That sucks.”
While Waiters has played well overall this season, his performance from beyond the arc has suffered. After shooting at almost 40 percent a year ago, he’s shooting just more than 30 percent from beyond the arc this season, perhaps bothered by the injured ankle.
Waiters reinjured the ankle Friday night against Dallas on a drive to the hoop. He did not play against the Pelicans on Saturday before missing Tuesday night’s game against the Magic.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Waiters will continue to go through the process to return to action.
“He will continue to do rehab, treatment and conditioning and see when we can get him back on the court,” he said. “I don’t think it is as bad… but I’m also not a trainer or a doctor.”
Waiters said he pondered having surgery to correct the issue last offseason, but opted against it because it would have necessitated him not being ready at the start of this season.
Now, though, he admits all options will be on the table.
“Until I take care of it and do what I was supposed to do with it, even if I have a little sprain it’s going to be severe,” Waiters said. “I didn’t even do anything when I twisted it. I just twisted it.”
Waiters is just part of the walking wounded for the Heat this season. Center Hassan Whiteside returned to the lineup to face Orlando on Tuesday night after missing nearly a month (11 games) because of a bone bruise in his left knee.
Justice Winslow (left knee strain) and Rodney McGruder (left tibia stress fracture) have yet to play for the Heat this season. James Johnson (right ankle bursitis) sat out for a week and point guard Goran Dragic is playing through pain in his left elbow.
Despite all the injuries, Miami has managed to stay above the break-even mark to this point in the season, taking a 17-16 record into the matchup with Orlando on Tuesday night.