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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Surprising detail emerges about Markieff Morris’ injury absence from Jokic hit

Nikola Jokic's cheap shot on Markieff Morris

Markieff Morris is officially back for the Miami Heat after missing 58 entire games thanks to a cheap shot from Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Now we are learning exactly why Morris missed so much time.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Saturday that the Heat left the decision on clearing Morris to the NBA’s Fitness to Play panel. The team was wary of doing so themselves due to potential liability issues with Morris’ previous neck injury. The panel did, in fact, end up clearing Morris to play, removing any potential liability on the part of the Heat.

Morris was injured Nov. 8 in a violent incident with Jokic (video here). He suffered whiplash on the hit from Jokic, a major concern because Morris previously suffered a neck injury while with the Washington Wizards in 2019. You can read more about his 2019 injury here.

The veteran forward had been wanting to play for a while. As early as last calendar year, Morris was saying that he would be back soon. It has taken until mid-March for him to actually return though, but Morris is back for Miami’s contest against Minnesota on Saturday. That is good news for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat, who have enjoyed great depth at pretty much every position this season except for power forward.

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