Heat expect Dorell Wright back next year after season-ending knee surgery Print
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Tuesday, 04 March 2008 13:06
NBA Headline News

 MIAMI (AP) -There's 25 games left in this season, yet Miami Heat coach Pat Riley has already answered one offseason question: He wants Dorell Wright back next fall.
Speaking one day after Wright underwent season-ending surgery to repair a left knee tear, Riley said the 6-foot-9 forward will be ready for the start of training camp. And even though Wright is set to become a restricted free agent, the Heat has no plans to let him leave.
``I think it'd be a foolish option'' to let Wright leave,'' Riley said.
Wright suffered the injury Sunday in Miami's 120-109 loss at Sacramento in a game where the Heat - who have the NBA's worst record, 11-46 - wasted a 23-point second-half lead. Wright thought the injury was minor at the time, but tests Monday revealed a torn meniscus, and surgery to repair the problem was immediately scheduled.
Wright will wear a straight-leg brace for a month.
``D-Wright was having a good year and it's a setback now with the injury,'' Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. ``I tore mine in college, so I can, once again, help him with something that I've had experience with. It's another setback for our team, losing one of our better defenders and a guy who was really coming on this year.''
Count Wade among those who wants Wright back next year, too.
``That's one of my closest friends,'' Wade said. ``We'll see going into the summer. We'll spend a lot of time together. Both of us will be rehabbing. I'll continue to rehab my knee, he'll be rehabbing his knee, and we'll see what happens.''
The 22-year-old Wright averaged career-bests of 7.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 25.2 minutes in 43 games this season, plus hit 49 percent of his shots, the best mark of his four seasons. He also started 33 games, 12 more than he started in his first three NBA seasons combined.
``The important thing for him is to get healthy,'' Riley said. ``It's just a bad break for him. We've had ups and downs all year, guys hurt and in and out all year. ... He'll be back for training camp.''
Riley said Wright's injury will not cause the Heat to bring rookie guard Daequan Cook back from a five-game assignment to the NBA Development League ahead of schedule. Cook was loaned to the NBDL's Iowa franchise last week.
 

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