Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters suffered a sprained ankle late in the first half of Friday night’s 123-105 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to the team. Waiters would not return to the game after a hard drive to the rim, rolling his ankle over a jumping Gorgui Dieng.
X-rays on his ankle were negative and classified the injury as a sprain, eerily enough, similar to the one in Minnesota last month. The team will provide a timeline for his return on Saturday morning.
Waiters was ineligible to return to the game, since he didn’t shoot his free throws after being fouled by Andrew Wiggins on the drive, as he had to be carried into the locker room. Per rule, the opposing coach, Tom Thibodeau, had to choose a free-throw shooter to replace him, electing to go with Willie Reed, who split shots at the stripe.
The injury to Waiters is a real concern for a red-hot Miami team that has won 15 of its last 16 games at home. The Syracuse standout is the Heat’s third-leading scorer with 16.1 points per game — also dishing out 4.4 assists and shooting a career-high 39.5 percent from beyond the arc.
The team is 26-19 when Waiters plays this season, making him a substantial asset as the Heat hopes to remain in their newly-earned seventh place in the Eastern Conference after winning six of their last seven contests.