Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo is expected to make his season debut on Monday against the Houston Rockets, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The former All-Star guard underwent surgery on his quad tendon last May and has not played this season. Oladipo most recently spent time with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, for 5-on-5 work, and he’s made enough progress to return to the court after playing his last game with Miami 11 months ago.
Returning against the Rockets also adds an interesting wrinkle after Oladipo was traded there from the Indiana Pacers back in January 2021. He only played in 20 games for Houston before being traded to the Heat just two months later ahead of the trade deadline.
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“It feels good to be able to play the game I love,” Oladipo said after a practice last week. “You go through stuff in life, and you have to battle. I’ve gone through this twice, so I know how to prep mentally. But each time is new, and those challenges arise, and you have to adapt. It is a whirlwind of emotions. As a competitor, you want to play a certain way but it’s about winning the small battles and I won that today. I am just thankful to keep building.”
Oladipo initially ruptured his quad tendon in January of 2019 while playing for the Pacers, and since then has played just 52 games in two-plus seasons. He was also forced to undergo a second surgery on the quad last year because the initial procedure didn’t fully fix the problem.
“I repaired the quad tendon and did it a little differently than [he had] it done before,” Oladipo’s surgeon Dr. Jonathan Glashow said last May. “The quad wasn’t really hooked up. It was torn, and I reattached it. I was amazed he was playing with what he had.”
Both Oladipo and the Heat are hopeful that he’ll now be fully healthy and able to return to something resembling his pre-injury form. He’s been taking part in workouts with teammates in recent weeks, and Heat veteran Udonis Haslem told the media that Oladipo is “definitely better” than he was last year. It remains to be seen, however, how that will translate to games after such a long layoff. But if Oladipo is able to be a consistent contributor for the Heat, it’ll give them another offensive weapon just in time for the playoffs.