His left ankle — a month removed from surgery — was in a green-colored cast.
And the crutches were set right next to the bed.
But when it was time to celebrate, Dion Waiters didn’t need them.
Waiters, the Heat’s guard nicknamed ‘Philly Cheese,’ let loose, even hopping around on one leg when he and his hometown of Philadelphia celebrated their long-awaited Super Bowl championship on Sunday night.
The wild celebration was shared on social media shortly after Waiters and his family watched his beloved Eagles beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52. (Warning: graphic language)
Both the Players Tribune and Sports Illustrated shared video clips showing Waiters celebrating with family running around the room after the game was over.
Waiters’ Heat teammates, who had just played in Philadelphia two days earlier and seen firsthand the hysteria taking over the city in anticipation of the Super Bowl, were happy for him.
“Of course, he was happy,” Goran Dragic said. “I saw the post when they were deciding if that was a touchdown and you could see he was nervous. I was happy for him.”
Waiters had season-ending ankle surgery in late December to correct an issue that had been lingering since the end of last season.
An earlier post showed Waiters lying on his bed speechless and face down while Eagles’ tight end Zach Ertz’s go-ahead touchdown with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter was reviewed by officials.
Once the game was over, Waiters was overcome with emotion as family members hugged him.
“When he makes a good pass or basket he’s emotional and he brings that out,” Dragic said. “It’s a different side of him, too, but I like it. He was cheering his team and I like it.”
Wayne Ellington, who was born in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, just 20 minutes west of Philadelphia, said he also celebrated the Eagles’ win.
“That was big time man, not just for the Eagles’ organization but for Philly. It was needed. I was getting a whole bunch of pictures last night seeing the streets going crazy and the city was on fire, literally.”
But Ellington said he didn’t celebrate as passionately as Waiters.
“Nah, no crying for me,” Ellington said. “I was excited. I was happy. Dion’s probably a little stronger of an Eagles fan than me so it hit him harder.”