Heat officials believe Justise Winslow is making progress with his wrist injury, although surgery after the season remains an option, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. The second-year forward was ruled out indefinitely last month with pain in his left wrist and will miss his 16th consecutive game tonight.
Team doctors have ruled against surgery for now and are hoping the wrist, which is part of his shooting hand, will heal naturally through a rehab program. However, it has been nearly a full month since Winslow has played, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked tonight about the possibility of an operation once the season ends.
“I think right now all of our hopes are that he won’t need it,” Spoelstra said. “That’s why we went through extensive treatment and rest. And right now it looks like we won’t need to go that route.”
“It’s actually gotten significantly better. It was a sprain. He continued to play with it, continued to reaggravate it and then we shut him down we started the process of healing it and then rehabbing it and then restrengthening it. He’s getting better. He’s doing more court work each day. I would say probably now is when you’re starting to say he’s probably getting pretty close to full contact work on the court.”
Winslow was able to participate in today’s team shootaround, but hasn’t taken part in a full practice since being hurt. He has been wearing a wrist brace when he’s not playing basketball, which Spoelstra said he will probably need to do all season.
“That’s just to stabilize it,” the coach said. “Anybody that’s had wrist issues, you have to wear a brace when you’re not active. And it helps. Any little bit helps. [For Winslow] that’s more precautionary. He doesn’t necessarily need it. It’s already starting to feel a lot better.”
Winslow, a second-team all-rookie selection last year, last played on November 14th and has appeared in just nine games all season. X-rays on the wrist were negative, but the injury clearly affecting his shooting percentage, which has fallen to .336 from the field.