After having seen his season abruptly end last March because of an injured ankle, Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters indicated on Wednesday that the ankle still has some lingering soreness. Waiters also noted that following the injury, he was offered the chance to have surgery performed on it, something that he rejected because it would have meant an eight-to-10-month recovery period.
Waiters, who signed a four-year, $52 million contract during the offseason to remain with the team, missed the Heat’s final 13 regular season games because of the injury. Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wrote that Waiters talked about how he deals with the soreness.
“Some days you’re going to feel great, some days it might be just one of them days,” Waiters said. “You have to push through it and be smart about the whole situation.
“The swelling just started going down. It’s still a little bit swollen but it’s not how it was before.”
Indicating that the remaining soreness didn’t come as a suprise, Waiters also discussed the treatment he’s undergoing during the team’s training camp at Florida Atlantic University.
“I knew it would take a while,” Waiters said. “I knew it was a bad one when I did it. I haven’t felt any pain like that since I broke it in high school.
“I’ll get four or five treatments every day. Some days you’re going to feel great, some days it might be just one of them days. You have to push through it and be smart about the whole situation.”
Waiters also explained why he decided to opt for straight rehabilitation instead of undergoing the surgery.
“When I found out, it was only two choices,” Waiters said. “I’m not a big fan of surgery, so I try to avoid surgery. I didn’t want to be out eight to 10 months. I asked for another solution, ‘What’s another way we can go about it?’ We went that route, just getting it stronger, keep getting treatments every day all day. That’s all I really do. But it’s fine, though. I’m good, man.”
Had Waiters chosen surgery, he likely wouldn’t have returned until mid-November at the earliest. His new contract will certainly motivate him to endure whatever pain he has to deal with, due to the $1.1 million he’ll receive if he plays in 70 regular season games this season.