Heat Announce Victor Oladipo Will Warm Up Against Rockets With ‘Intent’ to Play

Update: The Miami Heat announced that Victor Oladipo, Kyle Lowry, and Caleb Martin will all warm up pregame to play on Monday against the Rockets.

After three years of dealing with surgeries and rehabs due to some troubling leg injuries, Victor Oladipo’s play status has been upgraded to questionable, heading into the Heats game against the Rockets on Monday.

With the Heat saying he’s questionable to play, that means there’s a coin flips chance of the two-time All-Star will make his season debut on Monday. Oladipo last played competitive basketball last year on April 8. Since then, he’s undergone a second surgery on his quadriceps tendon. He first suffered the injury in January 2019 while he played for the Pacers.

“He has great fortitude,” Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said per ESPN. “That’s the toughest thing for a professional athlete is to get injured, and most of your time is away from the team. Probably, when you talk about mental health, that is the most challenging thing for an athlete.

“You don’t necessarily always feel like you’re a part of it. You have doubts; you don’t know what it’s going to look like on the other side when you do get healthy; you’re not sure if all the work is really mattering. That’s a tough place for an athlete.”

With the Indiana product back in the lineup, the Heat have another layer of depth to rely on with 17 games left on the schedule. For his career, Oladipo has averaged 17.5 points per game, 19.5 with the Heat, Rockets, and Pacers before going down with his knee injury.

Oladipo has missed 89 games since last season, including the Heat’s playoff run. Since his initial surgery three years ago, he’s made 56 appearances, missing 201 games within that same timeframe.

“He looks great,” Heat forward Jimmy Butler said. “He’s been working for, whew, a long time, countless amounts of hours, rehab, in the gym, in the weight room. And I’m excited for him to get back.”

Oladipo has ramped up his rehab with the Heat’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls in anticipation of his return.

“Through this entire process, I’ve really respected and admired how Vic is able to keep his positive spirit,” Spoelstra said. “It really is a unique quality. I love that quality about him.”