The Miami Heat were dealt another huge blow to their NBA championships hopes this week with the injury to Udonis Haslem. The Associated Press is reporting that the Heat center had surgery Tuesday for a Lisfranc injury to his foot. Haslem injured his left foot in the team’s loss against the Memphis Grizzlies. Team physicians reportedly evaluated him and decided that he needed surgery. The injury comes at an especially bad time for the Heat, who have struggled against teams with a strong frontcourt presence. His injury also follows that of guard Mike Miller, who is out until at least January with a thumb injury.

According to reports, Haslem injured the Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. While it is possible to suffer a mild form of this injury, meaning that he only sprained the ligament, it is likely that he completely tore the ligament in this case. If the Lisfranc ligament is torn, then the bones of the midfoot can separate or widen. Such an injury can be very debilitating, as it would become very painful and difficult to push off with any explosive strength.

Placing the athlete in a cast and keeping him nonweightbearing can treat mild forms of this injury. If there is any separation of the bones, most sports medicine physicians will treat it with surgery. Surgery usually involves placing one or two screws across the bones after putting them in proper alignment. Surgeons usually protect the repair by placing the athlete in a cast or boot for up to 6 weeks. Haslem will probably not be allowed to start jogging for 2-3 months, and it may take him 3-4 months to get back to basketball. Reports that Haslem might miss the rest of the season unfortunately seem reasonable.

Read more about Lisfranc injuries and their treatment.