Already riding a six-game winning streak, the Miami Heat is about to get one of its top reserves back from injury.
Forward Caleb Martin is on track to make his return for the Heat in Thursday’s matchup against the Brooklyn Nets at Kaseya Center (7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Sun, NBA TV).
Martin, who has missed the last 10 games with left knee tendinosis, is listed as available on the Heat’s injury report for Thursday’s contest against the Nets.
Martin, 28, first felt the pain in his left knee during offseason workouts in the weeks leading up to training camp. He was then a limited participant during a few training camp practices, was held out of the Heat’s Red, White and Pink intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 9 and missed the Heat’s first four preseason games.
But Martin started feeling better after taking that time to rest his knee and took part in the Heat’s fifth and final preseason game.
Martin then played in the Heat’s season-opening win over the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 25. But he hardly looked like himself on either end of the court, finishing with two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field in 20 minutes off the bench.
So, the decision was made to hold out Martin for the last 10 games to allow for his knee pain to diminish.
Martin, who can become a free agent this upcoming summer with a $7.1 million player option in his contract for next season, is expected to be used as one of the Heat’s top reserves this season. He averaged career-highs in points (9.6 per game), rebounds (4.8) and assists (1.6) last regular season.
With Martin expected to return, the only Heat players ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Nets are Tyler Herro (sprained right ankle), Jamal Cain (G League assignment) and R.J. Hampton (sprained right knee).
The Nets will be without Armoni Brooks (G League assignment), Noah Clowney (G League assignment), Keon Johnson (G League assignment), Ben Simmons (lower back nerve impingement), Cam Thomas (sprained left ankle), Dariq Whitehead (G League assignment) and Jalen Wilson (G League assignment) for Thursday’s game in Miami.