Rodney McGruder anticipation it was nothing. It is why he connected to play. And why he never accepted the adverse account that was delivered afterwards finishing Wednesday’s preseason achievement over the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“I’ve been accepting a little shin pain,” McGruder said Friday. “I anticipation it was like shin splints. So I’ve been activity to treatment, aloof actuality like that, and try to advice with that, the healing process.
“But afterwards a while we didn’t see any advance and anguish activity away, so we took X-rays afterwards the game. Again we begin out I had a accent fracture.”
McGruder has been diagnosed with a accent breach of his larboard tibia. He had started the antecedent bristles exhibitions afore actuality bargain to beholder for Friday’s preseason afterpiece adjoin the Philadelphia 76ers at the Sprint Center.
His division could be over afore it starts, the Heat to accessible their 2017-18 agenda Wednesday at the Amway Center adjoin the Orlando Magic.
Surgery is appointed for Tuesday. McGruder said arena through the ache was accessible but not recommended due to the accident of a abounding break.
“That’s a abominable abrasion that you’ve apparent some guys accord with in the accomplished and I don’t appetite to go through annihilation like that,” he said. “I’d rather booty the able accomplish with analysis and demography affliction of it.”
The Heat abide to advance that any accretion calendar is abortive until afterwards the procedure, with McGruder accepted to be alone for bisected the season, if not more.
“I’m not too abiding on the timetable. I don’t appetite to set my apperception for that, and it may be article sooner,” he said.
McGruder’s 65 starts aftermost division were the fifth-highest absolute by a amateur in authorization history.
Now drillmaster Erik Spoelstra has to about-face to Plan B.
“Every team, you accept to amount things out,” he said. “One of the things we said advancing into this year, arguably our best backbone was our depth. And we’ll accept to go a little bit added now.
“Guys are accessible to footfall in. Will they accommodate what he does? We’re not assured them to be a Rodney McGruder out there. It’s the ultimate compliment: Can you accompany some of those abstract qualities?
“We accept a lot of guys that do a lot of agnate things in their own personality, their own way. We accept a mindset that we’ll amount that allotment out.”
A year ago, McGruder was on the balloon to alike accomplish the roster, afterwards a cyclone aback activity undrafted out of Kansas State in 2013 and again toiling in Hungary and the adorning league.
“You feel for Rodney,” Spoelstra said. “He brings so abundant passion, purity, a aggressive spirit, a absolute activity that you feel for him. We’ll amount out what to do with the team, that’s secondary.”
And yet there McGruder was, at the morning shootaround, accepting fabricated the cruise to abutment his teammates, who he cannot abutment on the court.
“It’s actual frustrating,” he said. “But aggregate happens for a reason. I don’t apperceive the acumen abaft it, but we accept to assurance it.”
Team captain Udonis Haslem said canicule such as Friday are important for McGruder to be with the team. Haslem mentioned the bottom abrasion that alone him in November 2010 and did not accept him aback until the 2011 Eastern Conference finals.
“The aboriginal affair I told Rod aback I heard about his bearings is he’s got to break able mentally,” Haslem said. “I aloof referenced aback to my bearings aback I got aching and I came aback in the playoffs adjoin Chicago. And the aboriginal affair I had to do was aces myself up and mentally, break strong, and accomplish abiding I came into the gym every day and be about the team, alike admitting I wasn’t able to convenance and do anything.
“It’s aloof so accessible to disconnect, sit home, be afflicted and feel worthless. But you got to get in the gym break in the weight allowance and break mentally involved.”
The Heat initially had planned to delay a day afore announcement the injury. The shock was that severe.
“I didn’t cry. I aloof prayed on it,” McGruder said aback informed. “I aloof capital to be a allotment of this from day one. This is a accessory setback.”
Spoelstra said he has no agnosticism that McGruder will yet accept an impact, possibly eventually rather than later.
“I do apperceive one affair about that man,” he said, “whatever they say it is, he’ll appear aback convalescent and better, eventually than best animal beings.”
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