Dion Waiters Surgery on Ankle Injury Announced; Expected to Fully Recover

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2018

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 22, 2017 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

The Miami Heat announced Friday shooting guard Dion Waiters will undergo surgery on his left ankle and said a "full recovery is expected."

Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com first reported the expected procedure Thursday and noted it will bring an end to his 2017-18 season.

Waiters last played Dec. 22 when he injured his troublesome left ankle in the first quarter of a game against the Dallas Mavericks. It's the same ankle that brought a premature end to his 2016-17 campaign.

After the latest setback, the 26-year-old Philadelphia native said surgery was an option, but he preferred to wait until after the season ended.

"At this point, you got to see what's best," Waiters told reporters last month. "But I won't write it off, hell no. Especially if I'm going to keep going through the same thing, even with like little tweaks and things like that. When the season is over, after the playoffs and things like that, I'll sit down with my family, my agent and we're going to take care of it."

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said as recently as last week that season-ending surgery wasn't the top option as the guard continued to seek medical opinions.

It's unclear what changed leading to the surgery announcement, but it's a major loss for Miami, which currently sits fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 24-17 record.

Waiters ranks second on the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game while also averaging 3.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds across 30 appearances.

The Syracuse University product was limited to 46 games last season, his first with the Heat, due to ankle problems. He previously played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

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