Jock Doc

Miami Heat players go through an array of medical tests before play starts

Q. I know the Miami Heat training camp is starting now and I wondered what you do medically for the start of training camp?

A. Before the players can go out on the basketball court, they are required to undergo an extremely extensive physical. Each player is seen by Dr. Edward Neff, our team cardiologist, for a complete exam. This exam includes a physical examination, blood work including liver and kidney functions, and cholesterol analysis. Each player will also undergo a chest X-ray, an EKG, cardiac stress test, and where indicated, an echocardiogram.

Players will then be evaluated by myself for a complete orthopedic examination. An MRI scan will be ordered of both their knees so we have a baseline to compare if any knee injuries or complaints develop later on in the season.

Dr. James Losito, our sports podiatrist, will evaluate our players' gait and obtain soft cushioned orthotics to try to decrease the risks of stress fractures and ankle sprains. Michael Robinson, the team dentist, will also evaluate our players and provide mouth guards in an effort to decrease risk of dental injury during the season. Dr. Allan Herskowitz, team neurologist and medical director, oversees completion of our physicals and communicates with our head trainer, Jay Sabol. Our medical team works to care for the players' health not just in the short term but in the long term.

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to