Reed off crutches, begins ankle rehab
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
Heat center Willie Reed was diagnosed Sunday with ankle bursitis.