Mike Miller Says He’ll Be Ready for Training Camp

Despite the fact that he struggled through a gruesome back injury during the 2012 NBA Finals, Miami sharpshooter Mike Miller isn’t giving up just yet. Miller, who some thought might retire this past summer, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he plans to report to training camp later this month: “Three months later, he’s still in one piece, his limbs attached to all the right places. For the first time with the Miami Heat, Mike Miller might actually start a regular season in uniform. After considering retirement during the NBA Finals and then contemplating back surgery at the completion of the Heat’s championship run, Miller is up and running and looking forward to the Sept. 29 start of training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena. ‘I’m feeling pretty good,’ he said Saturday. Instead of gaining a $2.9 million injury exception for a replacement player, the Heat apparently will have the real thing, with Miller hoping to pick up where he left off, which just happened to be with seven 3-pointers in the Game 5 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that gave the Heat their second championship. The first step toward a return came in July, when the Heat bypassed the opportunity to utilize their amnesty exception on Miller and instead banked it for future use. Such a release would have allowed the Heat to avoid the $5.8 million luxury-tax payment now due on Miller’s 2012-13 salary. From there, rigorous rehab in place of expected back surgery has delivered the 12-year-veteran to the precipice of a camp some thought the 32-year-old never would make, with Miller in contact with Miami neurosurgeon Dr. Barth Green throughout the process. ‘I basically looked at my options and back surgery, with Dr. Green pretty confident that we could get it to where I need to be without it. So we’re slowly but surely getting there,’ he said at a Saturday promotional appearance at Maye Pediatric Dentistry and Shelling Orthodontics along with teammates James Jones and Udonis Haslem, who was there to collect contributions for the Udonis Haslem Children’s Foundation. ‘My body feels good. Like I said, we’ve just got to be smart about it.'”