MIAMI — Willie Reed will not play Monday against the Mavericks, but a Sunday MRI revealed better news than expected when the Heat’s backup center was wheeled off the court during Saturday’s win over the Pacers.
The diagnosis is right ankle bursitis for Reed. He is listed as day-to-day and he will not travel with the team to Dallas for Monday’s game.
According to Allina Health, ankle bursitis “is the swelling and pain of a bursa. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion or shock absorber between a tendon and a bone.”
Reed exited Saturday’s game in the fourth quarter after suffering the injury. It was originally diagnosed as a right calf strain.
With Reed out Monday and maybe for the next few games, coach Erik Spoelstra could turn to the 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem or the 6-foot-9 James Johnson to fill Reed’s role as the team’s backup center. Haslem hasn’t played in a game since Miami’s win over Philadelphia on Feb. 4.
Aside from starter Hassan Whiteside, Reed is the only other true center on the roster. Reed is averaging 5.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game this season.
In order for the Heat to apply for an additional roster spot under the NBA’s hardship rule, Reed would have to miss three consecutive games and then an NBA doctor would have to determine he would miss an additional two weeks. With Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts and Justise Winslow out, the Heat would qualify for the extra roster spot — if Reed meets these requirements — because the hardship rule is triggered when a team has four players out for that amount of time.
But the fact that Reed is listed as day-to-day could mean he may not need that long to return. In this case, the hardship rule would not come into play.