MIAMI (AP) Beno Udrih has a tear in the bottom of his right foot, and Miami's backup point guard is looking at a three-month rehabilitation after surgery is performed to correct the issue.
It's a doubly tough blow for the Heat, who are running low on players and are in a precarious spot when it comes to finding ways to sign outside help.
The team announced the diagnosis of a torn plantar plate Wednesday, one day after news that Udrih was facing season-ending surgery was revealed. He got hurt in Monday's overtime win over Indiana, on a play that looked innocuous at the time. An X-ray performed that night ruled out a fracture, but an MRI on Tuesday showed the tear and the need for surgery.
Udrih's procedure will likely take place later this week.
''He's someone we're going to miss on the court, and we'll miss what he brings,'' Heat guard Dwyane Wade said.
Udrih was acquired in a trade from Memphis earlier this season. He averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 assists in 36 games with the Heat, primarily as the backup to starting point guard and fellow Slovenian Goran Dragic.
It's the latest roster hit for the Heat, who are already missing Chris Bosh because of a blood clot in his leg and Tyler Johnson because of shoulder surgery. The team also has two open roster spots, which means 10 players are currently available to play.
''Next man up,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''We will adjust accordingly, whatever is required.''
The challenge Miami now faces is how to bring in reinforcements.
''You don't want to be in a situation where you're competing against people where you're having to spend a significantly higher level just to compete equally in free agency,'' Heat general manager Andy Elisburg said in a video posted Tuesday to the team's website, explaining the luxury-tax ramifications of the moves Miami made at the trade deadline.
And the tax is a major deterrent to the Heat right now.
Miami made moves last week, such as shipping Chris Andersen and his $5 million salary to Memphis and trading Brian Roberts to Portland before he ever actually played for the team, to get under the luxury-tax threshold and avoid the highly punitive ''repeater'' status. Miami has a small amount of room that it can operate in without re-crossing that repeater tax line, but would need to be extremely careful about when to add players.
So for now, Miami may have no choice but to stay at 10 players.