Miami Heat News: Hassan Whiteside (Knee) to Miss Saturday’s Game vs. Pacers

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When the Miami Heat take the court for Saturday night’s home opener against the Indiana Pacers at American Airlines Arena, they’ll be without a key weapon. That’s because center Hassan Whiteside will be sitting out the game due to a bruised left knee.

Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reported that Whiteside had suffered the injury during Wednesday night’s season-opening loss to the Orlando Magic. Whiteside and Orlando center Nikola Vucevic banged their knees together in the third quarter.

“I could feel it in the third quarter, toward the end, toward the fourth quarter, it was really bothering me a lot,” he said. “It’s frustrating, but I’m thankful it’s not nothing worse.

“I’m looking at it like this: guys like my old [Reno Big Horns] teammate Jeremy Lin (who ruptured his patella tendon Wednesday) and what happened with Gordon [Hayward] (who broke his ankle in Tuesday’s opener). I’m looking at other guys and it always can be worse.”

The injury marks the second time this month that Whiteside has banged knees with another player. The first time came during the preseason opener against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 1, when Whiteside and Taurean Prince collided. Prior to the game, Whiteside had taken protective measures against such a recurrence.

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“I was wearing padding everywhere on my knee, but it hit a spot where I was hit before,” Whiteside said. “I got an MRI on it, so it’s treatment, exercise and hip work to get back. [The doctors] ain’t give me no [timeline]. It’s just kind of a day-to-day thing, to get the swelling out and stuff.”

One option to replace Whiteside is Kelly Olynyk, though the final choice will depend on what type of lineup Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is most comfortable with.

Whiteside isn’t all that concerned about the injury:

“I’m not that worried,” he said. “It’s just the fact that it was hit in the same exact spot. If it was just the first time I got hit in my knee right there, it probably wouldn’t have been as bad. But, you know, I got hit again in it. So we’re going to just try to let it heal and see from there.”

The possibility of Whiteside returning for the Heat’s next contest exists, though Spoelstra is making it a day-to-day proposition that will be looked at from a season-long perspective. That will help avoid the urge to bring Whiteside back sooner than expected, thereby risking another injury.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.