Update: Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin is listed as available for Thursday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets at Kaseya Center.
Caleb Martin has been sidelined with a knee injury since the Miami Heat's season-opener but a recent report indicates he could return to the court soon.
Martin participated in the Heat's shootaround before Wednesday's win in Charlotte, "With the look of a player who could be back within a week," according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman.
Caleb Martin's return will be a boost to the Miami Heat, but will also create some tough rotation decisions for coach Erik Spoelstra.
This is good news for the Heat, who have been without one of their most versatile rotation players for most of this season. Since scoring only two points on 1 for 7 shooting in 20 minutes in Miami's season-opener against the Detroit Pistons, Martin has yet to play another game this season as he deals with a lingering knee injury.
Despite Martin's absence, the Heat have put together a six-game win streak in large part because other perimeter role players have stepped up. Haywood Highsmith has taken over as the team's starting power forward, while rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. continues to impress as part of the nightly rotation.
Highsmith is averaging 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 26.6 minutes per game, while Jaquez is adding 9.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals.
The depth at the wing position creates some looming rotation decisions for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. When Martin does return, Spoelstra will have to reduce or eliminate someone's minutes. Highsmith and Jaquez's roles in the lineup appear firm for now. That leaves Josh Richardson as the reserve most likely to see his minutes slashed. Richardson has been a helpful defender and facilitator but has struggled to make shots (38.6% overall, 26.7% from 3-point range).
The Heat can use Martin's shot-making and defense to bolster the rotation. Martin averaged 9.6 points on 46.4% shooting (35.6% from 3-point range), 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 assisst and 1.0 steal last season. He was a big part of Miami's postseason run to the Finals, when he averaged 12.7 points on 52.9% shooting (42.3% from 3).
There is no specific timeline for Martin's return, but that he's been a more active participant in shootaround suggests that he is ramping up to be a healthy part of the Heat's rotation.