Miami Heat forward Rodney McGruder is expected to miss three-to-six months due to a stress fracture in his leg.
McGruder played in a team-high 78 games as a rookie last season, including 65 starts, and averaged 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds. He was slated to start at small forward again this season, but that role will now likely fall to Josh Richardson, who signed a four-year, $42 million extension before the start of the preseason.
McGruder, 26, is expected to undergo surgery, according to The Vertical, which first reported how much time he is expected to be sidelined. He originally signed with the Heat as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas State in 2013.
“You root for players all the time and guys like Rodney, you have to root for them because of the kind of person he is, the kind of player, his effort, all-in, how coachable he is,” Heat President Pat Riley said.
The Heat also announced that point guard Goran Dragic will miss Friday’s preseason finale against Philadelphia in Kansas City with his wife and children arriving from Slovenia on Thursday.