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Haslem's return still on hold

The Sports Xchange
 
Roster Report · Haslem's return still on hold · Notes, Quotes
 

No longer is there a sense that power forward Udonis Haslem will be available for the start of the playoffs.

While no one in the organization has used the term "setback," it has been a slow-go for the veteran in his push back from November foot surgery.

Haslem returned to court work two weeks ago, but playing at speed remains problematic.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said there simply is no definitive timetable.

"I'm not getting coy about it," he said. "None of us know at this point. Until he's able to go full speed, running, cutting, side-to-side and contact work and how his foot responds to that, we won't know. He's still a ways from that."

Haslem traveled with the team for last week's four-game team, getting in extensive court time during practices. He again watched in a suit from the bench as the Heat lost 90-85 Wednesday to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.

Teammates sense the uncertainly of the situation.

"Right now," guard Dwyane Wade said, "we understand the nature of his injury.

"If we get U.D. back, it's a bonus. We're focused with what we have. The biggest thing for him is to get healthy. With that injury, you can't rush it and we don't want him to rush it all."

The Heat has four games remaining in its regular season, with the visiting Charlotte Bobcats up next, on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Teammates also appreciate that with Haslem's hustling style, he needs to have confidence in the foot.

"We're looking forward to him coming back whenever that is, but we want him to be as close to 100 percent," forward LeBron James said.

"When he's ready to go, we welcome him with open arms. We're definitely ready for that number 40 jersey to be dusted off out of the maintenance room and get back on the floor."

BUCKS 90, HEAT 85: With Dwyane Wade sidelined by a bruised right thigh, the Heat could not get enough from LeBron James and Chris Bosh to compensate for his absence. While James closed with 29 points on 10-of-22 shooting, Bosh shot just 6-of-15 for 18 points. A pair of late three-pointers from Bucks forward Carlos Delfino proved to be the difference.

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