By Ben Golliver
Miami, cruising with the best record in the East at 10-3, will have to make due without a starter for a little while.
Heat forward Shane Battier told reporters Monday that he suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee during a Saturday win over the Cavaliers. The injury, which occurred while Battier was providing help defense on a drive by Alonzo Gee, could keep him out for a week. He did not practice on Monday, according to the Miami Herald.
Heat forward Shane Battier is expected to miss at least the next two games after spraining his knee on Saturday against the Cavaliers.
“I think it could have been a lot worse than it actually was,” Battier said. “I’ve sprained my MCL before, so I knew what it felt like. I knew exactly what it was.”
“It’s unfortunate we’re not going to have him for the next few games,” [LeBron] James said. “But we have enough guys to step up and come in and make plays.”
"I will be alright," Battier tweeted on Saturday. "My knee got caught in a weird position as I got tangled up. Mild sprain. Be back in a few."
The injury can be seen at the 0:45 mark of the video above.
There's never a good time for a knee injury but the timing here isn't bad at all. The Heat are in the midst of four consecutive off days before a Thursday game against the Spurs in Miami. They then play just once more in the next four days, a Dec. 1 game against the Nets, also in Miami.
Battier, 34, has started all 13 of Miami's games so far this season and is averaging 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 block per game in 26.5 minutes per game. Battier is a key part of Miami's "positionless" approach and it's possible Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will elect to stay small by plugging Mike Miller or Rashard Lewis into the starting lineup hole at the three. Spoelstra could also elect to pursue a bigger approach, by inserting Udonis Haslem or Joel Anthony in the middle, shifting down forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh.