The arduous rehabilitation of Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters has been documented over the past few months on social media by the veteran as he continues to battle back from surgery. In his most recent update, he offered no specifics about exactly when he’ll be able to return, but briefly indicated he’ll be ready once that clearance has been given.
“Once I’m cleared from the doc it’s on,” Waiters wrote on Instagram.
Waiters’ surgery took place on Jan. 22 and not only repaired a nagging injury in his left ankle, but also fixed a preexisting navicular bone fracture. Prior to the procedure, Waiters had indicated the rehabilitation could be as long as 10 months, with Heat team president Pat Riley indicating a few months ago a slightly shorter time frame.
“Well, it was six to nine months,” Riley said. “That’s what the doctor said. We hope that he’s ready for training camp. But we’re not going to push that.”
Miami’s training camp begins on Sept. 25, with the regular season getting underway on Oct. 17. Waiters first got back on the court in July and has continued to make strides toward returning to his previous level of play.
Last season, Waiters attempted to play through pain in his ankle and appeared in 30 games before the season-ending surgery took place. In those contests, he played an average 30.6 minutes and averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds, numbers that were down slightly from his performance the year before.
While having Waiters back will inject a little more offense into the Heat lineup, the team does have other options available at shooting guard. These include players like Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson, while the likely return of Dwyane Wade will further bolster this unit.