Haslem being sent to foot specialist
Udonis Haslem has played with broken fingers, separated shoulders, illnesses and sprained ankles. So when he needed to be carried to the locker room with his latest injury, the Miami Heat suspected it was bad.
They were right.
An MRI performed Sunday on Miami's leading rebounder confirmed he tore a ligament in his left foot during the fourth quarter of a loss in Memphis on Saturday night. When Haslem went down, he immediately began pointing to the inside of his left foot, and was quickly helped into the locker room.
He will see a specialist on Monday, and surgery — which could keep him out months instead of weeks — remains an option. The Heat said they expect to have more information on Monday.
Haslem does not start for the Heat, but losing him for any significant amount of time would be a major blow. He's considered to be Miami's toughest player and serves as the team's co-captain with Dwyane Wade, who is also banged-up.
Wade underwent an MRI as well on Sunday, which confirmed that he has a sprained left wrist. Wade is listed as day-to-day, and it'll likely be determined after the Heat hold a shootaround practice on Monday if he plays later that night against Indiana.
Haslem won't be playing against Indiana, and probably not anytime soon, either.
''You're always going to have to play through adverse situations,'' Heat forward Chris Bosh said Saturday night.
The Heat did not practice Sunday.
Haslem is averaging 8.0 points and 8.2 rebounds through the season's first 13 games. If the Heat choose to make a roster move to add depth at the power-forward spot, Shavlik Randolph — one of Miami's last cuts during the preseason — may be a possibility. Otherwise, the Heat could simply add to Juwan Howard's workload there, or even have LeBron James spend time at the position, which he has played before.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said last week, before Haslem got hurt, that he can envision scenarios where James could play power forward. For his part, the two-time reigning NBA MVP has also said he's comfortable enough to play the position if Spoelstra decides to play him there at times.
''I can do that. I've done it in the past in Cleveland ... it was a great lineup for us,'' James said last week. ''If (Spoelstra) has it in his back pocket, whenever he decides to pull it out, I'll be ready for it.''