Heat guard Dion Waiters spent the evening Sunday watching his beloved hometown Philadelphia Eagles roll to the NFC Championship – and apparently preparing for ankle surgery on Monday.
Waiters shared the news on his Instagram account.
“I get surgery tomorrow,” Waiters wrote under a photo of someone else dressed in Eagles paraphernalia with some colorful language. “This game help calm my nerves. BigTime!!!!”
It’s been over a week since the Heat confirmed reports Waiters, 25, had elected to have surgery on his troublesome left ankle, which cost him the final 13 games of the 2016-17 regular season and sidelined him again on Dec. 22. The team nor Waiters, however, had confirmed a date for surgery until Sunday night.
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The Heat’s statement did not include a timeline for Waiters’ return, but he said prior to the season that if he had surgery he would be sidelined eight to 10 months.
Miami has since sought a $5.5 million disabled player exception that, if granted, must be utilized by March 12 and can be used only to acquire a player on an expiring contract. If the Heat cannot find a trade option with that $5.5 million before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, the alternative would be saving it and seeing what players receive buyouts. Players who have been in the NBA this season must be released by March 1 to be playoff-eligible elsewhere.
Waiters played in 30 of the Heat’s first 32 games – missing two games for the birth of his daughter back in November – and then rolled the ankle badly driving to the basket early in a win over Dallas on Dec. 22. Waiters was in line to receive a $1.1 million bonus if he played in at least 70 games this season.
The Heat (27-19) are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and play Monday night in Houston.