Dion Waiters had to be carried off the court by his Miami Heat teammates late in the first half of Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after he sprained his left ankle attempting a layup in the lane.
Waiters, who has been as big a key as any to the Heat’s turnaround following an 11-30 start, appeared to roll his ankle on the foot of T’Wolves forward Gorgui Dieng after Andrew Wiggins had fouled him on his way to the basket.
The Heat said X-rays on Waiters’ ankle were negative and classified the injury as a sprain.
Waiters was ineligible to return to Friday’s game per NBA rules since he didn’t shoot his free throws. Willie Reed, selected by T’Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau, replaced Waiters and made 1 of 2 at the foul line.
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But the concern for Waiters’ health moving forward is very real.
He’s the Heat’s third leading scorer (16.1 points per game) and is averaging 4.4 assists and shooting 39.5 percent for the season from three-point range. The Heat is 26-19 in the games Waiters has played in this season.