Miami Herald

Richardson (dislocated shoulder) and Rozier (knee) out for a while

- BY ANTHONY CHIANG achiang@miamiheral­

Injuries have been one of the Heat’s biggest problems this season — and they continue to be.

Just when the Heat had reached a point of relatively full health for the first time this season, guards Josh Richardson and Terry Rozier left Sunday’s 110-106 home loss to Boston early with new injuries.

Richardson departed early in the second quarter with a right shoulder injury, and Rozier left midway through the third quarter with a right knee injury.

An MRI on Monday revealed Richardson suffered a dislocated right shoulder, a league source confirmed to the Miami Herald. There wasn’t a definite timetable for his return; he’s expected to be re-evaluated in a “couple weeks,” according to a source.

An MRI on Rozier’s injured knee produced relatively positive news

Duncan Robinson-Jaylen Brown incident adds to rivalry,

Monday, confirming that he avoided a significan­t injury. Rozier was diagnosed with a sprained knee, which is being considered a week-to-week injury, according to a league source.

This news comes as the Heat embarks on a twogame trip before the AllStar break. The Heat begins the trip Tuesday at the Milwaukee Bucks (8 p.m., Bally Sports Sun) before taking on the Joel Embiid-less Philadelph­ia 76ers on Wednesday.

“More than anything, you just feel for those guys,” coach Erik Spoelstra said Sunday when asked about the injuries to Richardson and Rozier. “They’re competitor­s, they want to be out there, they’re trending in a much better direction. Josh was just starting to get healthy and really starting to get his legs

under him and really starting to make an impact on both ends of the floor for us. Terry was getting a lot more comfortabl­e.”

Along with missing Richardson and Rozier for the two-game trip, the Heat will be without star forward Jimmy Butler. He missed Sunday’s loss to the Celtics and is away from the team following a death in his family. He won’t return until after the All-Star break.

“Jimmy Butler has been granted a leave of absence as he deals with the death of a family member,” Butler’s agent, Bernie Lee, said in a statement issued by the Heat on Sunday. “Jimmy and his family ask for privacy at this point in time as they navigate this loss. Updates will be given when appropriat­e.”

Beyond these three absences, forward Duncan Robinson is listed as questionab­le for Tuesday with a left shoulder/elbow sprain, which he sustained during an incident with Celtics forward Jaylen Brown in Sunday’s game.

While the Heat appears to have avoided the worst-case scenario, the injuries to Richardson and Rozier continue an unfortunat­e trend for the Heat. Miami entered Monday with the fifthmost missed games (164) in the NBA this season due to injury, according to Spotrac’s tracker.

Richardson, who has been a fixture in the bench rotation, hurt his shoulder when reaching in to try to steal the ball from Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

“It’s a regular play, honestly,” Richardson said after the game. “I reached and J.T. spun and like tried to pull the ball with him, and it’s just like a weird angle. It was just kind of like a freak accident.”

Richardson immediatel­y went down to the court and grabbed at his right shoulder before being helped to the locker room by the training staff.

“I felt my shoulder pop out [while I was] on the floor and then pop back in when I was laying on the ground,” Richardson said.

Rozier, who has been a fixture in the starting lineup since being traded from Charlotte to the

Heat in late January, went up for a layup in the third quarter and came down awkwardly on his right leg after drawing a foul while in the air.

Rozier fell to the court and immediatel­y grabbed at his knee, writhing in pain before the training staff helped him to the locker room.


The possibilit­y of playing without both Richardson and Rozier for a few weeks will force the Heat’s rotation to change.

Richardson had played more than 20 minutes in six straight games before leaving Sunday’s game early. Rozier has logged at least 24 minutes in his 10 games with the Heat.

Richardson, 30, is averaging 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 34.7 percent on threes in 43 games (six starts) this season.

Rozier, 29, is averaging 12.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists while shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 23.4 percent on threes in his 10 games with the Heat.

With the Heat having just lost two guards in Richardson and Rozier, two-way-contract player Alondes Williams is the only healthy traditiona­l guard on the roster besides Tyler Herro. Williams and fellow two-waycontrac­t player Cole Swider will join the Heat in Milwaukee for Tuesday’s game.

The Heat will need to rely on wings such as Jaime Jaquez Jr., Caleb Martin and Butler, center Bam Adebayo, or even forward Nikola Jovic to take on more ball-handling duties until Richardson and/or Rozier return.

The Heat, which has an open spot on its 15-man roster, could add a guard to provide some depth through free agency/ buyout market. The Heat has minimum contracts and the $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception to offer free agents, or Miami can sign a player to a 10-day contract.


Among the guards who are available or may become available through a buyout are Seth Curry, Killian Hayes and Cory Joseph. All three players would be eligible to sign with the Heat as free agents this season because their pre-waiver salaries are under $12.4 million.

The Heat also could sign a guard from its G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The Heat remains intrigued by the Skyforce’s Jamaree Bouyea. He signed a 10day contract and two-way contract with the team last year before Miami waived him in September.

But even with the Heat entering Monday in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 28-25 after advancing to the NBA Finals last season, one thing the Heat won’t do is use injuries as an excuse.

“There’s no excuses with this group,” Robinson said. “We’re always going to be, we have enough and next man up.”

Anthony Chiang: 305-376-4991, @Anthony_Chiang

 ?? D.A. VARELA dvarela@miamiheral­ ?? Kevin Love signals for a trainer after guard Terry Rozier hurt his knee Sunday. His injury status is week-to-week.
D.A. VARELA dvarela@miamiheral­ Kevin Love signals for a trainer after guard Terry Rozier hurt his knee Sunday. His injury status is week-to-week.

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