NBA rumors: NBA grants Heat $4.7 million exception for Meyers Leonard injury

Shams Charania: The Heat have been granted a disabled player exception worth $4.7M for the season-ending loss of Meyers Leonard, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Miami has until April 19 to use the DPE.

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https://twitter.com/MeyersLeonard/status/1356778351403298816
Spoelstra said Heat center Meyers Leonard is “feeling great.” Leonard, who started the first 49 games of the season, missed 16 games prior to the league shutdown because of a sprained left ankle. “I think you can say that in many ways that time off was really good for his body,” Spoelstra said. “It would’ve been a tight squeeze to get him ready if it was normal playoff time. But this has served his body well. He has been able to rest and then also do treatment and rehab, which was important.”
That doesn’t mean Leonard has backed off the rehab from the ankle issue that had him out for the 16 games prior to the league shutdown. "I'm feeling much, much better," he told Heat television host Jason Jackson during the Instagram interview. "Obviously, I had an injury there right before the season was suspended. And it was bad. I think most people were aware of that. But I’m always incredibly, incredibly focused and I take a very professional approach. So I guess if there’s a silver lining for Meyers Leonard, I’ve had more time to rehab and the rehab’s been very good.”
Jason Quick: Meyers Leonard (back) says he will dress and be available to play tonight versus Chicago. He was listed as questionable earlier today.
Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard says he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a right lateral ankle sprain and hopes to return to the court within a week. Leonard suffered the injury while playing one-on-one prior to practice on Oct. 25 and was initially given a four to six week timeline for his recovery. The Blazers centered has resumed running and introduced lateral movement as he continues to ramp up his rehabilitation work.
And on Saturday, Portland moved one step closer to that goal, as power forward/center Meyers Leonard was cleared for all activities exactly six months after undergoing surgery on repair the labrum in his left shoulder. “I felt good out there,” said Leonard of his first unencumbered practice since dislocating his shoulder back in March. “That’s my first time playing live five-on-five obviously, so getting the conditioning back like I mentioned before is going to be key for me. But overall I felt pretty good, felt confident on the offensive end, defensive end, playing at the rim, rebounding the ball. Progressing as time goes on.”
Joe Freeman: Meyers Leonard says his injured shoulder rehab is ahead of schedule. "I’m feeling amazing, honestly. My shoulder feels great."
The 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Leonard averaged 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, which was marked by injuries. He dislocated his left shoulder in November and before having surgery in March for a torn labrum that cut short his season. Leonard, who was surrounded at Friday's news conference with family and friends, said he's close to getting his full range of motion back. "My hope is to be ready right around the start of the season," he said. "It's a progression, first introducing rebounding, grabbing stuff overhead, then one-on-one, three-on-three, extending to the full court. We'll see. You just never know."
Meyers Leonard: The surgery went great and now the recovery process begins. Counting down the days till I'm back with my team. To all my fans, especially the one's in #RipCity, thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. I will bounce back from this!
Leonard confirmed reports that he will be out 6-8 months and also revealed that he suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder. “I have some ligament damage, he’ll fix it up, he’s very optimistic about surgery and rehab and so am I,” Leonard said about the surgery and diagnosis from Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Dr. ElAttrache concluded that it was best for Leonard to undergo surgery and while Leonard made the right decision for his health, it’s easy to wonder whether he regrets not signing an extension with the Blazers before the season began. “I have faith in what I do, on this team, in the future and what more I know I can do,” Leonard said. “Certainly it takes an immense amount of hard work. I’m going to do that. I’m going to rehab, get it done and get it out of the way and come back stronger than ever.”
And he said he didn’t have regrets about turning down the Blazers lucrative contract extension in November. Instead, his mind went to his team, and in particular to its leader, Damian Lillard. “I asked everybody to keep it under wraps,’’ Leonard said, referring to Neil Olshey, the Blazers’ president of basketball operations. “I wanted to tell Dame, man to man.’’ So hours later, as the Blazers prepared to play the Clippers at the Staples Center, Leonard sat on the sideline in a khaki suit and cowboy boots and watched Lillard warm up. And as the star finished his routine and headed toward the Blazers locker room, Leonard trailed him, waiting for him to finish signing autographs.
In the tunnel, Lillard looked Leonard in the eye and consoled him. “I told him to keep his head up, it’s not his fault,’’ Lillard said. “I told him to keep his mind right and understand that we love him as a teammate and not to get down about it. We would love for him to be playing, but at the end of the day you don’t want to be tearing stuff up. He has to do what is best for his health.’’
Meyers Leonard missed his fourth consecutive game with a dislocated left shoulder. Prior to the game Stotts declined to give an updated timeline on Leonard's possible return, but said that Leonard would get his shoulder looked at again this week. "He's going to get a second opinion and go from there," Stotts said.
Meyers Leonard will miss at least Trail Blazers' next three games after dislocating his left shoulder at practice on Wednesday.
Leonard doesn't have a definitive timetable for his return, but he will miss the final three games of the Blazers road trip starting with Thursday night's game in San Antonio as well as the final two stops New Orleans and Dallas. He is waiting for the swelling in his shoulder to go down before getting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.
Portland forward Meyers Leonard dislocated his left shoulder Wednesday night during the Trail Blazers' 113-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard was whisked to the locker room after he clutched his left arm on the court midway through the third quarter and did not return.
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