While Miami Heat’s roster is currently depleted due to COVID-19 healthy and safety protocols, Tyler Herro is not sidelined due to contact tracing, but because of he’s suffering from neck spasms.
Herro, 21, suffered a neck injury during the Heat’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on January 14. With lingering pain, Herro sat out during the Heat’s following matchup against the Detroit Pistons on January 16 with KZ Okpala getting the start in his place.
Even with Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic back on the court, the Kentucky alum’s presence was missed during the Heat’s 120-100 loss to the Pistons on Saturday night. Thus far, in the 2020-2021 NBA season, Herro is averaging 17.6 points, 6.7 rebounds in 33.7 minutes of playtime per game. He’s shooting an impressive 77.8% from the rim.
Herro is officially out for Wednesday’s tilt against the Toronto Raptors after missing the Heat’s past two matchups.
Spoelstra Remains Vague on Herro’s Return
Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra had said over the weekend that “Herro’s neck has been bothering him for about a week, and the team thought a day off would be beneficial,” Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang tweeted.
On January 20, Spoelstra didn’t say too much about Herro’s injury. “I don’t have any new update for you, other than he’s making progress,” Spoelstra said.
While most of the Heat’s starting lineup was sidelined due to COVID-19 tracing last week, the 6’5 guard stepped up in a big way. Herro scored 31 points against the Washington Wizards and followed up that performance by racking up 34 points against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Herro Powered Through Numerous Injuries Last Season
While he’s still one of the youngest stars in the NBA, Herro is not immune to injuries. During his rookie year, he suffered from a right ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for five weeks.
Herro also powered through a left knee bruise which kept him sidelined for two games and a sprained ring ankle which forced him on the bench for another three games, according to Bleacher Report. The forced break due to COVID-19 offered Herro more time to rehab his ankle.
Herro said in July, “I’m definitely 100% now. The pandemic and the time off really was able to allow myself to get back to 100% but I feel the best that I’ve ever felt in my life. My body is 5.5% so I’m excited to be started.”
Herro was ready to dominate when the Heat entered the post-season bubble and was clutch in helping Miami reach the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Coming in as a teenager and just having that skill level to be able to finish at the rim, to be able to hit the mid-range pull-up and extend beyond the three, that’s unique in itself,” Spoelstra said, who has big expectations for Herro this season.
“He’s more than just a strictly catch-and-shoot player,” Spoelstra said. “He’s very good off the dribble, and this is something that he diligently works on every day with his quarterback reads. And it’s not just finishing. It’s making the reads on what the scheme is and where the weakside is. There’s different coverages based on who you’re playing, and I think he’s growing leaps and bounds with that.”
READ NEXT: WATCH: Heat’s Jimmy Butler Sings R&B Hit for NBA Legend’s Birthday