The Miami Heat aren’t expecting Justise Winslow back anytime soon.
Winslow, who has been dealing with a lingering lower back bone bruise, will be re-evaluated again in two weeks, coach Erik Spoelstra said on Friday before their 115-108 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Winslow did not make the trip with the team to Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“We will re-evaluate him in two weeks,” Spoelstra said, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “He’ll be out for two weeks and then we’ll see where he is then and go from there.”
Winslow has missed 19 of Miami’s last 20 games with the back injury. He played 16 minutes against the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 8, but re-aggravated the injury in the game and hasn’t been back since.
Winslow has averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds so far this season for the Heat, his fifth in the league after Miami selected him with the No. 10 overall pick in 2015.
The 23-year-old has played in just 11 games while dealing with a multitude of injuries, including a concussion and lower back stiffness before going down with the bone bruise. While he played most of the past two seasons, Winslow appeared in just 18 games during the 2016-17 season while dealing with a wrist injury and eventually underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. He hasn’t appeared in more than 68 games since his rookie year.
Miami has posted a 13-6 record in the 19 games that Winslow has missed. The Heat have won four of their last six, and currently hold the second-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks.
“He hasn’t been available, so we’ve worked with who has been out there,” Spoelstra said this week, via the Miami Herald. “We’ve had to pivot a little bit, but we have a lot of guys who have that type of versatility. Ultimately, you would love to have your roster available. But that’s not realistic in this league. No team has their full complement of players and you have to be able to pivot, you have to be able to adjust.”
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