The Miami Heat haven’t been forthcoming about Hassan Whiteside and the severity of his knee injury. However, Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald reports the center has been diagnosed with a first degree MCL sprain.
“The Miami Herald has learned from a league source that it is a first degree, or least severe, sprain,” Skolnick writes. “The Heat will know more after Whiteside’s swelling and bruising subsides, and he can take a stability test — likely later this week — to see how he responded to rest and treatment.”
This means it is pretty much the same severity of injury that has kept Stephen Curry out of action for the Golden State Warriors the past two weeks. It also means Whiteside should not be expected to play at any point in the team’s Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Toronto Raptors. He’s already been ruled out for Game 4.
It’s going to be hard to replace Whiteside’s defense around the rim. Udanis Haslem and Josh McRoberts can probably handily replace the points Whiteside provides, but they cannot possibly replicate his shot-blocking capabilities. He averaged 3.7 blocks per game this year — the most of any player in the league, by a wide margin.
Miami is down 2-1 to the Toronto Raptors in this best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be played Monday night in Miami.