Miami’s Oladipo injured left knee late in the Heat playoff game

MIAMI (AP) — Victor Oladipo already left a game on a stretcher once. He refused to do it again on Saturday, even after what seemed like a serious injury.

The Miami guard was helped off the court late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 121-99 playoff win over Milwaukee, after the oft-injured guard appeared to hurt his left knee.

A stretcher was wheeled onto the floor to help Oladipo off the court. He wound up walking off himself, with assistance from team personnel. The Heat did not release any preliminary diagnosis, and planned further examination for Sunday.

“Once the stretcher was out there, he was like, ‘I’m not getting on that thing,’” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “So, we’ll just have to see. I feel like throwing up right now, but I don’t know what the prognosis is. I’m going to stay positive and we’ll just see what happens after we scan him tomorrow.”

Oladipo was driving down the lane when he appeared to slip as he went airborne. He landed near the basket stanchion and immediately began grabbing at his left knee, while teammates reacted in obvious disbelief.

Players, team medical staff and even some of the referees quickly went over to check on Oladipo.

“It hurts to see somebody that you care about going through something like that,” Heat guard Duncan Robinson said. “Obviously, we don’t know what it is at this point, but we’re all hoping for the best.”

Oladipo appeared in just eight regular-season games in the 2021-22 season while recovering from a second surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon.

He was a two-time All-Star with Indiana before getting hurt in January 2019 — a frightening scene, one where teammates covered his injury with a towel and he left wound up leaving on a stretcher. He returned a year later, wasn’t anywhere near the same player and Indiana traded him to Houston in January 2021.

The Rockets didn’t keep him long before moving him to Miami, with whom Oladipo played four games in March 2021 before getting hurt again.

It took him most of the 2021-22 season to come back. He got into 15 playoff games for Miami last season, playing much more in the postseason than he did in the regular season. Then came free agency, and Oladipo looked around and quickly decided Miami was his best choice — agreeing on a two-year deal last summer.

He played in 42 games this season with Miami, his most in any regular season since 2017-18. His role in the playoffs figured to increase now that the Heat are without guard Tyler Herro for at least six weeks; Herro broke his hand in Game 1 against the Bucks.

Oladipo had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in 19 minutes on Saturday.


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