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Dexter Pittman to be sidelined 5-6 weeks due to knee surgery

Feb 16, 2011, 5:03 PM EDT

Dexter Pittman Getty Images

There was a time when the stability of the Miami Heat’s center rotation was a matter of national importance. That time has faded as the Heat themselves have weathered through some growing pains as a team, but there’s still quite a bit riding on Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Joel Anthony, and Erick Dampier.

Notably not included in that group is Miami second round pick Dexter Pittman, a center prospect who has spent most of his season in the D-League. Pittman spent some time at the end of the Heat bench in case of emergency, but more often he was logging minutes for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. That kind of stint is exactly what Pittman needs at this stage in his career; development is clearly important for Pittman, but just as crucial is getting him up to NBA speed. That path starts in the D-League since regular minutes on the big league club aren’t in the cards.

However, Pittman’s hopes of becoming an NBA regular have suffered a bit of a setback. After sustaining an injury to his right knee, Pittman was forced to undergo surgery and will miss five to six weeks of game action, according to the Associated Press. As far as implications go, this injury isn’t exactly far-reaching; Pittman wasn’t likely to play at all for Miami this season, and the timetable for his recovery doesn’t make this injury a substantial setback. However, for a second round pick already facing an uphill battle for NBA permanence, injuries like these are nonetheless inconvenient to say the least.

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