What has been the big story of the Miami Heat’s season so far? Injuries

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, left, and forward Justise Winslow, center, watch from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Miami. Winslow has a sprained wrist. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, left, and forward Justise Winslow, center, watch from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Miami. Winslow has a sprained wrist. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — After a summer of change, it was always going to take a bit for the new-look Heat roster to build cohesion.

With just two starters returning and seven new faces on the 15-man roster, that was obvious. But this process has been delayed numerous times due to a string of injuries this season.

Entering Sunday’s game against the Celtics, 12 Heat players (including Chris Bosh) have already combined to miss 108 games due to injuries over the first 27 games of the season. Udonis Haslem, Rodney McGruder and Hassan Whiteside are the only Heat players who have been available for every game this season.

“With all the injuries, we’re trying to do things on the fly in the game and we don’t have many bodies to practice,” Justise Winslow said after Friday’s loss to the Clippers. “We’re still trying to figure out how to play with each other on the floor.”

So let’s go through all of the injuries …

* Chris Bosh has not been with the team this season as he deals with ongoing blood clot issues. So expect Bosh to miss the rest of the season, at least until the Heat release him and apply for salary-cap relief from his contract. The Heat can do this starting on Feb. 9 — the one-year anniversary of the last game Bosh played. With Bosh not available to play, Miami is missing its highest-paid player. Bosh will make $23.7 million this season.

* Wayne Ellington missed the first 16 games of the season with a right thigh contusion. He returned from the injury on Nov. 28 against the Celtics.

* Justise Winslow sat out 16 games as he recovered from a sprained left wrist. He returned in Wednesday’s win over the Pacers.

* Dion Waiters has missed 11 games with a Pectineus tear in his right groin area. There is still no timetable for his return.

* Josh Richardson missed the first four games of the season as he recovered from a partially torn MCL in his right knee. After playing in 13 games, a sprained right ankle kept him out another six games. He returned from the ankle injury in Miami’s loss to Chicago on Dec. 10.

* Josh McRoberts missed the Heat’s first seven games as he recovered from a stress reaction that stemmed from a broken left foot he suffered in the playoffs last season. He returned Nov. 12 against the Jazz.

* Luke Babbitt missed five games with a hip flexor injury. He returned in Monday’s win over the Wizards, but he’s been out of the Heat’s rotation since coming back.

* Goran Dragic missed three games earlier this season with a sprained left ankle. A strained left elbow forced Dragic to miss two more games before he returned Nov. 28 against the Celtics. The Heat are 1-4 without Dragic this season.

* James Johnson missed four games with a strained right rotator cuff. He made his return in Monday’s win over the Wizards.

* Willie Reed missed four games because of a hyper-extended right knee before being cleared to return to action on Nov. 28 against the Celtics.

* Tyler Johnson missed the Heat’s loss to Boston on Nov. 28 as he underwent oral surgery after losing a tooth in a previous game. He also missed Friday’s loss to the Clippers due to an illness.

* Derrick Williams missed the Heat’s win over the Jazz on Dec. 1 due to back spasms. He returned after missing one game.

PLAYER GAMES MISSED DUE TO INJURY
Chris Bosh 27
Wayne Ellington 16
Justise Winslow 16
Dion Waiters 11
Josh Richardson 10
Josh McRoberts 7
Luke Babbitt 5
Goran Dragic 5
James Johnson 4
Willie Reed 4
Tyler Johnson 2
Derrick Williams 1
Udonis Haslem 0
Rodney McGruder 0
Hassan Whiteside 0

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