Reed off crutches, be­gins an­kle re­hab

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NBA - By Ira Win­der­man Staff writer

DAL­LAS — Two days af­ter Wil­lie Reed went down in a heap at Amer­i­can Air­lines Arena, Mi­ami Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said Mon­day that his backup cen­ter is back on his feet.

Ini­tially feared to have a calf in­jury, Reed was di­ag­nosed Sun­day with an­kle bur­si­tis, and by Mon­day, Spoel­stra al­ready had en­cour­ag­ing news.

“It’s an in­flamed bursa sac, so that’s prob­a­bly the best news we could have got­ten,” Spoel­stra said as he com­pleted prepa­ra­tions for Mon­day night’s game against the Dal­las Mav­er­icks at Amer­i­can Air­lines Cen­ter. “He’s get­ting treat­ment, al­ready feel­ing bet­ter.

“The best news is no boot, no crutches, he’s al­ready mov­ing around and do­ing ther­apy and re­hab. But we’re treat­ing it day to day, and see where it goes from here.”

Spoel­stra said he could ap­pre­ci­ate Reed winc­ing and go­ing to the court dur­ing Satur­day’s vic­tory over the In­di­ana Pac­ers.

“It’s in one of those spots, your lower calf, he def­i­nitely ag­gra­vated it,” he said. “If you ever had a bursa sac that gets ag­gra- vated, it could feel pretty painful. But it’s good news.”

Reed did not travel with the team.

In the in­terim, Spoel­stra said hewould be com­fort­able turn­ing to­ward vet­eran big man Udo­nis Haslem.

“It takes some­body that has great per­spec­tive, great lead­er­ship re­spon­si­bil­ity, great ma­tu­rity to be able to un­der­stand that kind of role,” Spoel­stra said of Haslem mostly bid­ing his time on the bench. “It’s not easy and it’s not for ev­ery­body. But U.D. is so ex­cep­tional, be­cause he keeps him­self ready. And then when you need him, he’s go­ing to be pro­duc­tive and he’s go­ing to have a rou­tine.

“But then, if you’re play­ing a young guy like Wil­lie, there’s no­body sup­port­ing him more and in­fus­ing such great pos­i­tive en­ergy to him, and is so pure about it that Wil­lie feels like he can do any­thing, be­cause he has a three-time cham­pion be­hind him, en­cour­ag­ing him, teach­ing him, push­ing him, that I think that’s re­ally el­e­vated Wil­lie’s play.”

i win der man@ sun sen­tinel. Twitter@ ira or face­book.com/ ira.win­der­man

ALAN DIAZ/AP

Heat cen­ter Wil­lie Reed was di­ag­nosed Sun­day with an­kle bur­si­tis.

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