Markieff Morris wants to return to play but Heat reportedly “uneasy” about clearing him

Utah Jazz v Miami Heat
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It’s been 44 games since Markieff Morris took a cheap shot at Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets big man responded with a cheaper blindside shoulder to the back knocking Morris to the ground. Jokic got a one-game suspension for that.

Morris wants to be out there but has yet to be cleared by Heat medical staff. Miami at first called it whiplash but ever since has been vague about what is going on and a return timeline, reports Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang at the Miami Herald.

The Heat’s specific medical concern with Morris isn’t clear, but the sources said it was significant enough to make the Heat uneasy about clearing him to play, at least to this point, and significant enough to leave the team concerned about liability issues…

An associate said Morris very much wants to be playing now. His representative did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Morris said on Twitter this injury is serious but he has been cleared to play.

Being cleared by another doctor and being cleared by the Heat medical staff are two different things.

Morris missed time in 2019 due to a serious neck injury (during his time away he was traded and waived, making him a free agent who could ultimately join the Lakers). According to this report, at the time he was diagnosed with transient cervical neurapraxia, which is both serious but (as the name says) transient and temporary. It’s unclear if that injury is tied to this one; the Heat have given few details.

Morris is clearly itching to get back on the court, and his gritty and versatile style of play will fit well with the Heat. It’s just a question of when — and when the Heat feel it’s safe.