Heat news: Justice Winslow 'making progress' in injury recovery
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Justice Winslow ‘making progress’ in injury recovery

Heat, Justise Winslow

Miami Heat small forward Justise Winslow is ‘making progress’ as he battles through a lower-back bone bruise, as head coach Erik Spoelstra told Ira Winderman of The Miami Herald.

Winslow has been ruled out for Thursday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors, marking his 13th consecutive absence. The 23-year-old has played in just 10 games this season, with mixed results. Winslow averaged 12.4 points, 7.1 rebounds when healthy, but he was also shooting below 40 percent from the field and just over 23 percent from beyond the arc.

Winslow missed time earlier in the season due to a concussion, and he played in five games upon his return before the back problems surfaced.

Spoelstra also noted that Winslow has yet to go through a full practice and that Thursday’s exercises were simply part of the routine (Khobi Price of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel):

“I don’t have a new update on him,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Wednesday’s practice. “He did not go through this practice, nor would I have anticipated he would go through this practice. This was more of a training camp practice.”

It’s also likely Winslow will be out for the team’s game against the Orlando Magic on Friday at the Amway Center since the Heat isn’t holding shootaround before Thursday’s game.

This bone bruise is somewhat concerning especially considering Winslow missed a couple of games at the end of October (and into November) due to back stiffness. He has been among the names circulated in Heat trade rumors, but his value would seem to be something of a question mark in light of the injuries this season.

The more likely scenario involves Winslow playing out the remainder of the season probably off the bench in Miami. But first, he simply needs to return to the floor.