Report: Heat's Dion Waiters expected to undergo season-ending ankle surgery

The Miami Heat are sitting No. 4 in the Eastern Conference and have won six straight games to slowly gain ground on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who occupy the third spot.

But it appears they’ll have to play the rest of the season without their starting shooting guard, as Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports that Dion Waiters is expected to undergo season-ending surgery on his left ankle.

Waiters, who signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Heat this offseason, has averaged 14.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 30 games. He has missed the team’s past nine games with a sprained ankle. This will be the second straight season that Waiters will have missed significant time, after he played just 46 games last season.

The Heat have been able to win without Waiters recently, but they clearly believe he is a crucial part of the team, and will miss his scoring as they fill in the minutes with Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and recently-signed Derrick Jones Jr.