Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard offered his first public comments since undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday.
Leonard took to Twitter shortly after the procedure to express his appreciation of his teammates and fans.
"I truly do believe that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers," Leonard tweeted. "I’m blessed in so many ways and I will come back stronger from this. Thankful for a successful surgery and for everyone’s continued support."
The surgery ended what has been rocky two-year tenure with the Heat for Leonard. He started last season in the starting lineup before an ankle sidelined him during the NBA restart and postseason.
After returning for training camp at 100 percent, Leonard had hopes of regaining his status as a starter or rotation player. He only played in three games, averaging 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds.
Last offseason Leonard signed a two-year, $19-million contract, with next season being a team option. The NBA will likely offer the Heat a disabled-player exception, worth half of Leonard's salary ($4.7 million) this season.
“We all have his back,” guard Tyler Herro said. “So whatever Meyers needs, he’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. So I’m just really, prayers to him.”
With Leonard sidelined, it will also create more opportunities for second-year forward KZ Okpala and rookie Precious Achiuwa. Both have made great strides since entering the league.
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