The Heat announced today that Meyers Leonard (sprained left ankle) and Justise Winslow (lower back bone bruise) will be sidelined for the team’s full five-game road trip leading up to the All-Star Game, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Leonard and Winslow didn’t travel with the team on the road trip, which begins in Los Angeles against the Clippers tonight and runs through next Wednesday in Utah. The earliest either Leonard or Winslow could return would be on February 20 in Atlanta, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be ready to go at that point.
Tyler Herro is also dealing with a sore right ankle and was in a walking boot during Wednesday’s shootaround, says Winderman. Still, head coach Erik Spoelstra thinks the rookie could return to action during Miami’s five-game road trip.
“That’s the hope, but we’ll be smart about it,” Spoelstra said. “Right now, we’re just giving him rest and treatment, trying to protect him from himself. … He really wants to be out there and he was able to grind through it for the last 10 days. But we want to take care of this right now and make sure it doesn’t become anything more.”
Leonard had started every game for the Heat this season, while Herro has been one of the club’s most-used players off the bench, so the team will have to rely on its depth during the next few games. Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson are among the candidates to see more frontcourt minutes. On the wing, Derrick Jones figures to play an increased role and Dion Waiters could get another look.