Udonis Haslem Will Miss At Least Six Weeks With Torn Left Foot Ligament

The Miami Heat are struggling, and they suffered a critical blow, as forward Udonis Haslem will miss at least six weeks with a torn ligament in his left foot.

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Udonis Haslem Will Miss At Least Six Weeks With Torn Left Foot Ligament

The Miami Heat have gotten off to a disappointing 8-5 start this season, and now, things could become a lot worse. The team already lacks depth, and now, they are going to have to make do without a key role player.

Backup power forward Udonis Haslem suffered a foot injury in Miami's loss to Memphis on Saturday night, and an MRI revealed a torn ligament, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. Haslem will be sidelined for six weeks, and possibly much longer. According to Windhorst, the team is prepared to play without Haslem until after the all-star break.

One source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Sunday night that there are fears Haslem will be sidelined until at least the All-Star break depending on whether he needs surgery.    

It's not clear whether Haslem needs surgery yet, but either way, this is clearly a long-term injury, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. It doesn't look like Haslem will miss the rest of the season, but that could depend on what happens Monday. The Heat are bringing in a specialist to evaluate Haslem on Monday, after which a more definitive timetable will be established.

Haslem is a key loss for a Heat team short on depth. Haslem's abiltiy to do all the little things is something that will be missed, as Rob Mahoney writes in the New York Times' Off the Dribble blog.

The Heat forward kept his talents in South Beach despite being a free agent this past summer, and had been carrying out business as usual until Saturday. Haslem scores when he can, but his greatest value to the Heat is as a defender and rebounder; it's Haslem's presence that has helped Miami overcome the lack of a competent center. He leads the Heat in rebounding rate, and despite being relatively short by big-man standards (he is 6-8), is an effective interior defender. Haslem can't provide the help-side shot blocking that Miami needs, but he's more than capable of defending the low post.    

With both Haslem and Mike Miller sidelined, Miami's two best role players are not going to be in action for the forseeable future. The Heat could try to sign a free agent to fill the void, and center Erick Dampier remains available. But either way, Haslem's loss will sting.

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