Just when it looked like Rodney McGruder was poised to build on a promising rookie season with the Miami Heat, he will have to spend a few months away from the basketball court while he recovers from an injury.
Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday that McGruder has suffered a stress fracture in his left leg and is expected to miss three-to-six months, according to sources.
McGruder, a former Kansas State star, has been a feel-good story for the Heat. Since starting out with their development team, he has gained a regular starting spot in Miami and earned a nickname from fans -- The Scavenger. A 6-foot-4 guard, McGruder averaged 6.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 78 games last season, making 65 starts.
While playing for the Wildcats, McGruder averaged 11.7 points and 4.8 rebounds and helped K-State advance to the NCAA Tournament four times.
As a freshman, he helped the Wildcats reach the Elite Eight as a reserve. As a senior, he helped them share a Big 12 championship as the team’s go-to player.
McGruder went undrafted out of college, and spent time playing in Hungary before making a name for himself in the D-League and working his way into the Heat’s starting lineup. His progress will have to wait a few months.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett