MIAMI — Josh Richardson is making progress.
The 23-year-old guard suffered a partially torn MCL in his right knee in a voluntary workout on Sept. 9 and said he expected the injury to keep him out for six to eight weeks. Richardson is now entering the next phase of his recovery, as he had his knee brace removed Friday just in time to travel to Knoxville to watch Tennessee, his alma mater, defeat the Gators on Saturday.
“The update is his brace was removed on Friday and he was able to go to the Tennessee-Florida game on Saturday,” coach Erik Spoelstra said at media day on Monday. “After that win, I immediately texted him saying you better not even think about charging that field. But he was able to move around. He’s excited to get the brace off.”
Spoelstra said Richardson will do “some court work” at training camp in the Bahamas this week.
Richardson is in the middle of his third week of recovery. With the start of the regular season (at Orlando Magic on Oct. 26) still about four weeks away, there’s a chance Richardson will be ready for the opener. But with his timetable extending to eight weeks, there’s also a good chance Richardson will miss the first week or two of the season.
Richardson was expected to compete with Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Dion Waiters for the starting job at shooting guard in training camp and the preseason.
As a rookie, Richardson averaged 6.6 points on 45.2 percent shooting to go along with 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists primarily in a bench role last season.
But Richardson outperformed those numbers after the All-Star game, averaging 10.2 points on 50 percent shooting to go along with 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists following the break. He also made a league-best 53.3 percent of his shots from behind the 3-point line over that time.
“Everybody heals different,” Spoelstra said. “Just thank goodness it didn’t require surgery, so he’ll do a bunch of rehab and work with the trainers this week in the Bahamas.”