MIAMI (AP) Justise Winslow‘s torn right labrum was successfully repaired Thursday, and the Miami Heat forward will need to be in a sling for the next six weeks before beginning rehabilitation.
The Heat believe Winslow will miss the remainder of the season.
Team physician Harlan Selesnick performed the surgery, which took 80 minutes. Winslow got hurt in the final moments of a game at Boston last week, and on the flight home was telling coaches that he was fine – even rotating his shoulder in an effort to prove his point.
But further tests this week diagnosed the tear, and a second exam on Wednesday confirmed the need for surgery.
“To say I am disappointed is an understatement,” Winslow said. “It hurts that I can’t be there for my teammates, the coaching staff and our fans. After a lot of thought, this surgery is what is best for my career.”
It has been a difficult season for Winslow, who missed 16 games while recovering from a sprained left wrist and now likely will miss the final 48 with the injury to his non-shooting shoulder.
He’s averaged 10.9 points on 35 percent shooting this season.
“I will be back,” Winslow said. “In the meantime, I will dedicate myself to the rehab process and will find a way to support my teammates and make my team better.”
The Heat already have used 15 starting lineups this season – tied for second-most in the NBA entering Thursday’s games – and have seen what was their anticipated frontcourt get decimated by health issues.
Chris Bosh didn’t pass his physical in September because of ongoing complications related to blood clots, effectively ending his Heat career even though he remains on the roster. Josh McRoberts is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left foot, and now Winslow’s season is almost certainly over.
So far, the Heat have had players miss 144 games – and counting – because of illness and injury. That number will only rise, though center Hassan Whiteside (eye contusion) is expected to rejoin the team in Los Angeles later this week and possibly play Sunday when Miami visits the Clippers.