Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard feels he can still contribute to the team despite being sidelined after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery earlier this month.
Leonard spoke to the media Monday for the first time since learning his season was over. He said the goal now is to remain a vocal leader even though he isn't playing. He recently visited the team during their West Coast road trip. Leonard is rehabbing in Los Angeles, so he stopped by for a practice earlier this month.
"It's obviously frustrating to have a season-ending injury," Leonard said. "Not only that but being away from the team ... because I enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy the chemistry. I still feel like I have a voice in the locker room and that's something I want to be able to use. It's important to me."
The injury continued a rough stretch. After a strong start in his first season in Miami, he sustained an ankle injury that kept him out most of the year. When he returned for the NBA restart in Orlando, he had fallen out the rotation during the Heat's surprise run to the Finals.
Still, Leonard said he is making progress since the surgery and hope to once again be a contributing member.
"Overall, I feel good," Leonard said. "I'm in the early stages of rehab. Post-surgery has gone very well. This is my second time with it. I guess you could say I'm versed in it. I'm just going to take my time."
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