Josh McRoberts on stress fracture in left foot: ‘Disappointing, frustrating’

MIAMI — Josh McRoberts has two words to describe his latest setback.

“Disappointing, frustrating,” McRoberts said before Tuesday’s game.

McRoberts is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left foot, but he “definitely” plans on playing again at some point this season. Derrick Williams started in place of McRoberts as the Heat’s power forward Tuesday against the Thunder.

Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Orlando Magic on December 20, 2016 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Josh McRoberts #4 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Orlando Magic on December 20, 2016 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Since McRoberts signed with the Heat in the summer of 2014, it’s been a struggle for him to stay healthy. He’s already missed 95 games due to various injuries — like a torn meniscus that forced him to miss most of the 2014-15 season — since joining Miami, and that’s before this latest setback.

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“I wish I had a good quote to say to help other people through tough times,” McRoberts said when asked about staying patient despite another injury. “But I think that’s part of it, just to keep it in perspective. It could be a whole lot worse. It’s an injury and it’s a setback. It’s never a good thing and it’s always frustrating and it’s always disappointing, but you try to stay as strong as you can and get through it and try to put things in perspective.”

McRoberts said he believes he suffered the injury “a couple weeks back” and he tried to play through it. But the pain kept getting worse, which led to the diagnosis.

“I obviously didn’t know the extent,” McRoberts said. “You feel it. But you just kind of hope it’s general soreness and it goes away. I’ve been feeling it for a couple weeks and I finally took a look at it and it was bad news.”

McRoberts’ injury is similar to the one he dealt with earlier this year. He missed training camp, the preseason and the Heat’s first seven games of the regular season as he recovered from a stress reaction that stemmed from a broken left foot he suffered in the playoffs last season.

But the 29-year-old is optimistic the stress fracture isn’t as bad as the “complete break” he suffered in the 2016 playoffs. And McRoberts added that his latest foot injury is in a “different spot” than the one from earlier this year.

“I don’t think this one is quite as bad as what I’ve had in the past, which is the silver lining I guess,” McRoberts said. “I think we caught it a little bit sooner than the other ones.”

Even though this is McRoberts’ second left foot injury over the past eight months, the Heat and McRoberts don’t believe this is a career-threatening issue.

“We don’t feel like it will,” coach Erik Spoelstra said when asked if he’s worried the left foot issues will impact McRoberts’ career. “But we’re going to use all of our resources, put our minds together and come up with a solution with him to get him back out on the court and feeling healthy and good. We haven’t been able to do that right now, but we feel confident we’ll be able to find a solution.”

McRoberts started as the Heat’s power forward in each of the past 14 games entering Tuesday’s game against the Thunder. He averaged 6.4 points on 41.9 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent shooting from 3-point range to go with 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists during that stretch.

McRoberts is due $5.8 million this season and his contract includes a player option worth $6 million for the 2017-18 season. If the Heat were to cut McRoberts this season, they automatically would be responsible for his entire 2017-18 season salary counting against their cap.

“I feel for Josh right now,” Spoelstra said. “He wants to be out there and he was starting to get into a great rhythm. We’ll use all of our resources to come up with a solution for him.”

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