Miami Heat shooting guard Josh Richardson has suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Richardson reportedly sustained the injury during practice on Friday. The timetable for Richardson’s return will depend on the rehab process.
News of Richardson’s injury was first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical.
Miami guard Josh Richardson has sustained a partially torn MCL in right knee, league sources tell The Vertical. Return time based on rehab.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 9, 2016
Josh Richardson Suffers Torn MCL
Last season, Richardson averaged 6.6 points, 1.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game. Richardson, 22, has quickly developed into a valuable impact player for the Heat. This injury is a major set back, as Richardson was set to compete for the starting shooting guard spot. The position opened up after the departure of Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade.
Whether or not Richardson starts for the Heat, he is still a very valuable player off the bench. Richardson is a very competitive perimeter defender and shot 46.1 percent from three point range last season. The guard played 52 games last season and provided head coach Erik Spoelstra with a reliable bench option.
Richardson has improved rapidly and was playing in the D-League just last season. He could ultimately become the long term replacement for Dwyane Wade. Last year Richardson proved his worth, and made a solid case to remain with the Heat long term.
With Richardson sidelined, it looks as if off-season signing Dion Waiters has the advantage to become the starter at shooting guard. Although, combo guard Tyler Johnson may be a more sensible option for Spoelstra, especially seeing as Johnson was recently re-signed to a four-year $50 million deal.
With the Heat moving on from Wade, it looks to be a three-way battle. Waiters, Johnson and Richardson all look like capable replacements. Whoever ends up winning the battle will have a difficult job living up to the expectation of being Wade’s replacement.
Richardson was drafted 40th overall in the second round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Tennessee.