After appearing in just three games for the Miami Heat this season, Meyers Leonard’s 2020-21 NBA campaign has come to a screeching halt.
The former Trail Blazer suffered a left shoulder strain on Jan. 9 in the Heat’s 128-124 win over Washington and has been sidelined ever since.
Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Leonard will now undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. It appears this is the same shoulder Meyers underwent surgery for during the Trail Blazers 2016 season when he had a torn labrum repaired.
Heat guard Tyler Herro spoke out following news of Leonard’s surgery.
“It’s just unfortunate obviously to go through that,” he said via Brendan Tobin of Miami’s Tobin & LeRoy. “We all have his back. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. Just really prayers to him. I hope surgery goes well. Hopefully we can get him back as soon as possible.”
It’s been a roller coaster couple of years for Leonard since he was traded from Portland to Miami in July 2019. The 28-year-old big man has played in just 54 games, including playoffs, for Miami over the last two seasons.
In 2020, Leonard started 49 of his 51 regular-season appearances with the Heat, more starts than he had combined in his seven seasons with Portland.
Leonard severely sprained his left ankle in February before the NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. When team facilities shuttered, so did his rehab process. He began working with the Heat’s director of rehabilitation at home and resumed play in the NBA’s restart inside the Orlando bubble.
Now, Leonard will have another long road of recovery ahead as he looks to return to the court. As always, Rip City sends our well-wishes and looks forward to watching Meyers ball out in the near future.