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Shane Battier injury: Heat forward misses practice

Doug Pensinger

Miami Heat forward Shane Battier sprained a medial collateral ligament during a game on Saturday and was not able to practice with the team on Monday. Neither he nor head coach Erik Spoelstra were willing to venture to guess when Battier would be able to return to action.

LeBron James was more specific, telling reporters that the Heat will be without Battier for "the next few games." Battier sprained an MCL once in the past and missed the final 14 games of the 2009-10 regular season, but he said that injury was more serious than his latest setback.

Battier is averaging seven points and 2.5 rebounds per game, and he has been in the starting lineup for all 13 of Miami's games to date.

The defending champion Heat are off to a 10-3 start and own the best record in the Eastern Conference. They return to the court with a game against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.

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Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.