Miami Heat hope to get key rotation player back before the end of the season

The Miami Heat were without Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Kevin Love in Sunday's win over the Cavaliers.

Dec 31, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson (55) and guard Tyler
Dec 31, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson (55) and guard Tyler / Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat added another core rotation piece to the injury report when rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. missed Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers with left knee/ankle discomfort. 

It was the first game Jaquez has missed after 25 straight appearances, and he joins a lengthening injury report during this important playoff push. When the Heat get Jaquez and others back could ultimately determine if they can climb out of the play-in tournament or make another deep playoff rush.

The Heat were without five rotation players against Cleveland: Tyler Herro (right foot medial tendinitis), Kevin Love, (right heel bruise), Josh Richardson (right shoulder surgery) and Duncan Robinson (left facet syndrome).

According to the Miami Herald, “The hope is that Herro, Jaquez, Love and Robinson will return at some point before the end of the regular season.”

The hope.

Here’s what we know about each player’s injury and his potential return.

Tyler Herro: Herro missed his 15th straight game with a right foot injury. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection on Friday to help with the recovery process but there is still no timetable for his return. Right now, it comes down to pain management and comfort and both parties are trying to remain patient understanding that they need Herro to be as healthy as possible for a potential playoff run.

Jaime Jaquez Jr.: Jaquez was a late scratch with knee and ankle soreness and his absence isn’t expected to be a long one. He’ll be helped by Miami’s schedule – just two games this week (Tuesday vs the Warriors and Friday vs the Trail Blazers).

Kevin Love: Love missed his 13th straight game with a bruised heel he suffered when Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton landed on his foot during a game in Portland last month. The Heat have been toggling between backups Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson in his place, but miss his shooting, rebounding and savvy playmaking. 

Josh Richardson: Richardson has been out since dislocating his right shoulder in February and will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery.

Duncan Robinson: Robinson missed his third straight game with a lower back injury. Robinson exited the Heat’s loss in Philadelphia with lower back soreness and returned to Miami to see a specialist. He has since been diagnosed with left facet syndrome, which the Mayfield Brain and Spine clinic describes as, “an arthritis-like condition of the spine that can be a significant source of back and neck pain.” The Mayo Clinic recommends everything from pain relievers and physical therapy to PRP injections as treatment.