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Erik Spoelstra has no timeline for Josh Richardson’s recovery from heel injury

Josh Richardson, Erik Spoelstra

The injury bug picked a bad time to bite Josh Richardson. As the Miami Heat fight tooth and nail with four other teams for three spots at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff standings, Richardson is in a walking boot, with no timetable for his return to the floor from a bruised left heel.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shed light on the the fourth-year guard’s uncertain status on Saturday before his team’s game against the New York Knicks.

“That’s part of his treatment,” he said of Richardson wearing a walking boot, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “He also has quite a bit of the treatment without the boot during the day and working. But there is not a timeline.”

Richardson missed Miami’s hard-earned win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, and didn’t travel with the team on its current two-game road trip up the Eastern seaboard. The earliest he could return to the lineup is on Wednesday for the second leg of a home and home with the Boston Celtics.

The former second-round pick has drastically expanded his game in 2018-19, becoming one of the Heat’s primary ball handlers while remaining his team’s de facto stopper on the other side of the ball. Richardson is averaging 16.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season, all career-highs.

Unfortunately for Miami, he’s not the team’s only key player suffering from injury, as Justise Winslow and Rodney McGruder remain out after missing most of the last two weeks of play. The Heat, 37-38, are currently eighth in the East, a half game back of the seventh-place Brooklyn Nets and half game ahead of the ninth-place Charlotte Hornets.