Rehab going according to plan for Heat's Meyers Leonard

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard has one guarantee should the NBA season resume: he will be ready for the postseason.

Leonard missed the last 16 games with an ankle injury before play was halted due to the coronavirus outbreak. He figured to return had the season not been interrupted but is confident of being back in the lineup because of the delay.

“Would I have been able to return near the end of the regular season? My hopes were, yes, get some games under my belt and be ready for the playoffs," Leonard said. "But let me just tell you, cast it, do whatever you got to do, Meyers Leonard is playing in the playoffs. Period.”

Leonard sustained the injury in a victory against the Philadelphia 76ers Feb. 3 at AmericanAirlines Arena. Before then, he and center Bam Adebayo were the only Heat players to participate in the previous 49 games. Leonard has spent the past several weeks working with Brandon Gilliam, one of the team's physical therapy trainers, during the isolation period. He has kept a positive approach throughout.   

"It’s been great to have him over two to three times a week," Leonard said. "I do have a pool, thankful for that ... The buoyancy of water allows for me to do some movements in such that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to do on the ground."

Leonard estimates he is 90 percent back to regaining full strength.

"Because the truth is, I haven’t shot a jump shot, I haven’t tried to go up and dunk off one or two feet," Leonard said. "… However, I do feel good."

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