Josh Richardson Cleared to Return From MCL Injury

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson has been cleared by team doctors to make his season debut in Toronto versus the Raptors tonight, per Shams Charania of The Vertical.

The second-year shooting guard out of Tennesee returned to Heat full contact practice on Thursday for the first time since his injury, with Richardson saying he felt “good.” He went through Heat shootaround this morning in Toronto.

Richardson sustained a partially torn MCL in September after awkwardly landing after a dunk that caused him to miss all of Miami’s preseason and the team’s first four games of the 2016-2017 regular season.

Dion Waiters has started the first four games at shooting guard for the Heat this season with Richardson sidelined, and the consensus around the team is that Richardson will start in the backcourt alongside Goran Dragic now that he’s healthy to play.

Miami could also opt to play Richardson at the small forward position, a position where he says his comfortable at. This would allow the Heat to move Justise Winslow to the power forward spot to give them a more reliable option there.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Richardson improved his ball-handling and play-making skills over the summer, with Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra citing that Richardson has made substantial progress from his rookie season.

RIchardson averaged 6.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 52 regular season games last season. He shot 45% from the field and 46% from three-point range.

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