How Would the Miami Heat Cover for Shane Battier's Absence?

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How Would the Miami Heat Cover for Shane Battier's Absence?
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
After a strong start to the season, Shane Battier may sit for a bit.

Shane Battier isn't often at a loss for words, and usually they are multi-syllabic words that are rarely seen outside of the Spelling Bee.

So when the self-proclaimed NBA Scrabble champion ducked out of the locker room early Saturday night, prior to speaking to reporters, it was enough to raise some concerns. Late in the third quarter, he had left the game for good, hobbling to the locker room after getting entangled with teammate Udonis Haslem.

His Twitter followers certainly had questions so, before the night was out, Battier answered them.

Sort of.

"Thanks for all the notes peeps, I will be alright. My knee got caught in a weird position as I got tangled up. Mild sprain. Be back in a few."

What's a few? A few days? A few games? We will learn more this week, as the Heat, now 10-3, return to practice in preparation for Thursday's game against the Spurs.

Why does it matter? It matters because Battier has done excellent work this season, sacrificing his body to bang with power forwards, and hitting 45.8 percent of his 3-pointers.

"I can't speak enough about Shane's impact on this organization in the last year and a half," Erik Spoelstra said recently. "It's one of the reasons why we recruited him so hard. We wanted him as a part of this organization for the past five or six years, and we waited for our time in free agency to be able to make it happen.

"He does so many of the little things, his mental stability, his leadership. And he has a way when you leave him open, he'll make big ones."

So how would Miami fill his big hole, even if it's just for a short time?

(Note: All quotes were recorded in the course of the author's coverage of the team for The Palm Beach Post. All statistics are updated as of Sunday night.)

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