Mike Miller (hernia) cleared for full contact

January, 4, 2012
1/04/12
10:01
PM ET
Wallace By Michael Wallace
ESPN.com
Archive
MIAMI - The Miami Heat will soon add some timely ammunition to their perimeter shooting arsenal, with Mike Miller cleared by doctors Wednesday to resume full basketball activity after recovering from hernia surgery.

Miller had been sidelined since he underwent surgery in early November after experiencing discomfort near his stomach following offseason workouts. He was limited to shooting drills in recent weeks, but gradually increased his activity in practice the past few days.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the team's workout Wednesday morning that Miller was meeting with doctors. The 11-year veteran sharpshooter confirmed his "cleared status" to ESPN.com moments before Miami's home game Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers.

"I've just been working hard to get to this point, so it's just a matter of taking one more step to get out there and help my team," Miller said after completing a brief workout before the game. "I feel really good. I didn't rush anything. So now, it's just about trying to get a good practice in with the team and be ready from there."

Miller hopes to make his season debut at some point during the Heat's five-game trip that starts Thursday in Atlanta. Miami then plays New Jersey on Saturday before a three-game west swing.

Traditionally, Spoelstra prefers to see players who return from injury go through at least one routine practice. In the midst of a stretch of three games in four days, the Heat's next practice opportunity isn't scheduled until Monday after they arrive in San Francisco for Tuesday's game at Golden State.

"He's really close," Spoelstra said.

The prospect of Miller's return is a boost for the banged-up Heat, who were also without star guard Dwyane Wade on Wednesday to rest a lingering left foot injury.

Miller has been riddled with injuries since he signed a five-year, $30 million contract in the summer of 2010 as a free agent to join Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Miami. Miller missed most of last season, and had surgeries to repair both thumbs, a shoulder and the recent hernia.

"My goal has always been to get healthy and really give myself a chance," Miller said. "Now, I just want to stay healthy, stay ready."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Chris Bosh
PTS AST STL MIN
21.1 2.2 0.9 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsH. Whiteside 10.1
AssistsD. Wade 5.3
StealsM. Chalmers 1.7
BlocksH. Whiteside 2.5