Storyline: Tyler Johnson Injury

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Q: How’s your surgically-repaired left thumb healing? Tyler Johnson: “Good. It’s going really good. I got a couple more weeks and I’ll be out the cast completely and just rehabbing. So, it’s going well.” Q: How will it feel when you finally take the cast off? Tyler: “Good. Right now, it’s a little bit of a special cast. So I can tighten it and untighten it, so it’s not as restrictive as what it would be like fully, fully wrapped up. That’s a plus, I guess.”

Tyler Johnson does not know the pain associated with a knee injury. So, when Bulls center Robin Lopez landed on the back of his left leg during the second half of Monday’s game and he felt something in his knee. … he was very worried. “Initially it felt like my knee popped,” Tyler said today after watching his Miami Heat teammates go through their shootaround in preparation for tonight’s game against the Bucks. “That’s why when I went down I started grabbing at my knee and that was what was more worrisome than anything else.

But to have the entire team race the length of the court as he stayed down was testimony to what this team thinks of Tyler. “Tyler’s one of those guys that you never know,” said James Johnson, who is as close to Tyler as any player on the team. “He could have had a broken leg, and he’d still be sitting here making sure we was all good, making sure that our spirits were still high. But it’s hard to read that guy.” “We’re all in the trenches together. And we all have respect for Tyler and we all love him. It don’t surprise me.”

He said Tuesday he remains optimistic about his earlier goal of getting back on the court before the playoffs start. There are five games left before the regular season ends April 13. “I want to,” he said. “I’m still on track. I’m still optimistic about it, for sure. It’s really based on how I feel. We go through the same routine after every workout to see how it feels and the next day coming in and seeing how it feels. When it’s sore I usually don’t work out two days in a row. That’s what we’re trying to be able to do, put consecutive days together.”

The Heat’s second-year combo guard, who had surgery Wednesday in Miami to a repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, told The Miami Herald Sunday he’s going to try and come back for the playoffs in mid April, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be healthy enough or ready to contribute. “The doctors said it’s going to be two to three months before I can resume contact,” Johnson said. “It’s a possibility [I could be back for the playoffs]. But we’ve just got to see. Again, we’re not trying to rush it back. If it feels healthy by then, and I’m actually able to contribute and not just be out there trying to figure it out during the playoffs, [then I’ll play]. [The playoffs are] not the time to try and figure out if you can go. If there’s a couple practices before it, I’ll try and practice and figure out what I can do.”
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August 19, 2018 | 9:59 pm EDT Update
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Chris Kaman will join a special club this year: He’s being inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame. Kaman played basketball for Tri-Unity Christian High School, then Central Michigan University. He was drafted to the NBA in 2003 and spent 13 years there. “I think I was just blessed,” Kaman said. “I always dreamed of it … I did not know I was any good at basketball until my third year of college when we played Michigan at Michigan and we beat them. I had a really good game and everybody was talking about it. I wouldn’t have thought I could go to the NBA.”