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Miami Heat guard Rodney McGruder will reportedly have surgery on a stress fracture in his leg and will miss at least three months.
Shams Charania of The Vertical reported McGruder could miss up to six months, which would keep him out for most—if not all—of the 2017-18 season.
McGruder, 26, was part of the Heat’s starting lineup for all five preseason games. He averaged 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 78 games (65 starts) last season. A 2013 undrafted free agent, McGruder landed in Miami last season after stints overseas and in the G-League.
“I love his path,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told Aaron Torres of the Washington Post. “I love how he’s gotten to where he’s gotten. I love his internal character and fortitude.”
The Heat are deep on the wings, so McGruder’s absence won’t irreparably harm their playoff chances. Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Dion Waiters can handle a majority of the wing minutes, and Wayne Ellington will see a boost in playing time with McGruder out.
Miami has McGruder under contract on an extremely team-friendly deal through the 2018-19 season. The contract calls for him to make $1.5 million that is fully non-guaranteed next season.