Dion Waiters to Make Season Debut vs. Cavs After Recovering from Ankle Injury
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 22: Dion Waiters #11 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on December 22, 2017 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters will make his 2018-19 debut against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night, the team announced in the hours leading up to tipoff. 

Waiters missed the entire 2018 calendar year because of an ankle injury, last appearing in an NBA game on Dec. 22, 2017. He underwent surgery in January 2018 to repair instability in the left ankle and a pre-existing navicular bone fracture.

“He has come a long way and we’re just glad to have him back in uniform and available,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, per Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. 

He also missed the final 13 games of the 2016-17 season due to an ankle injury.

Waiters recently went out to the G League on a rehab assignment. After coming out of it in good shape, his return appeared imminent.

“We’ll list him right now as questionable, but we’ll make that decision on the road,” Spoelstra said of Waiters’ status for Wednesday on Tuesday, per the Sun-Sentinel’s David Furones. “We just want to get him to go through shootaround and put him in position to make the next step, which potentially could be availability [Wednesday].”

Waiters’ return should be a big boost for Miami’s rotation, especially with veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade (illness) missing Wednesday’s contest. 

Waiters is coming off a season in which he averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. The former No. 4 overall pick is averaging 15.2 points in two years in South Beach, which is the most he has put up with one team in his career to this point.

The Heat currently sit at 17-18, which puts them seventh in the East and a half-game back of the Charlotte Hornets in the Southeast Division.

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