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Victor Oladipo likely to return from quad surgery far sooner than expected

Victor Oladipo's injury outlook was ominous after he underwent quad surgery. Check out the great news the Miami Heat guard received on Saturday.

After undergoing surgery to repair a torn right quadriceps tendon, the initial word was that All-Star guard Victor Oladipo might miss the 2021-22 NBA season. On Saturday, news broke that Oladipo’s return to the hardwood will be far swifter than anticipated.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the latest news on Oladipo’s injury, courtesy of his surgeon:

Oladipo began last season on the Indiana Pacers, but got traded twice — first to the Houston Rockets, and then to the Miami Heat.

It was believed that Oladipo would be the extra piece Miami needed to not only return to the NBA Finals, but possibly win it this time. Unfortunately, that didn’t come to pass, as Oladipo appeared in only four games before the injury proved too much to overcome.

Wojnarowski reported that Oladipo could be cleared for full contact by November, which would allow him to return to the court and barely miss any of the 2021-22 season, much less all of it.

Now that the prognosis for Oladipo’s quad is a lot more promising, the bigger questions going forward will be as follows: Where will he play next season, and how much will he command on the open market?

Oladipo is hitting unrestricted free agency, but is rehabbing his injury “in concert with the Heat doctors” for the time being. It’d make some sense for him to sign a one-year prove-it deal in Miami to see if there’s a long-term fit, which was the likely intention when he landed there in the initial trade.

It’d be fascinating to see what Oladipo could do alongside Jimmy Butler on the Heat, who will face uncertainty regarding their perimeter rotation entering this summer. Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson and guard Kendrick Nunn are restricted free agents, and aging veteran Goran Dragic has an $18 million club option.

The Heat open the playoffs on Saturday against the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.

Related: NBA playoff predictions: Bracket picks & 2022 Finals champion