MIAMI — Hassan Whiteside is on track to return from injury in Thursday’s home game against the Bulls … and so is Bam Adebayo.
Whiteside will warm up with the intention to play against Chicago after participating in the team’s morning shootaround session. He has missed the past nine games with a strained left hip flexor that he suffered during shootround on March 10 before the Heat’s home win over the Wizards.
“He’s checked all the boxes right now,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Whiteside. “He’s done his conditioning workouts. He’s done his rehab. He’s done his full-contact practice. He’s done his shootaround. We’ll have to see how he responds this afternoon.”
Whiteside’s return was expected, though, as he went through Wednesday’s practice. But Adebayo’s return is surprising after missing one game with a sprained right ankle.
Adebayo, who missed Wednesday’s practice, was listed as out for Thursday’s game with his injury. But he was upgraded to questionable after participating in shootaround, and he will also warm up with the intention to play against the Bulls.
“He’s 20,” Spoelstra said when asked if Adebayo’s quick return was expected. “So, if he’s 35, those ankle sprains last a little bit longer. When he first sprained his ankle and he was out, we told him the story of LeBron [James]. How he used to sprain his ankle, bang his foot and be ready to go. I think Bam took us seriously on that, that he can do that, too. But he is young. He’s done all of his treatment and his body responded incredibly well the last couple of days. He’s been here eight hours a day.”
Guards Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson missed Thursday’s shootaround due to migraines, but they are expected to be available against the Bulls.