Brendan Haywood returned in Game 4 of the NBA Finals for the Dallas Mavericks - but he played only three minutes. Haywood missed Game 3 and was limited in Game 4 because of a strained right hip flexor, and Haywood may now miss the rest of the series against the Heat because of it.
According to Tim MacMahon, Haywood concedes he may not play again this season.
Haywood might not play another minute this series.
"It's a four-to-five-week injury. I'm trying to get out there in four to five days," Haywood said. "That's just the situation. It's a little disheartening, but it is what it is."
Given how Haywood described how the injury was affecting him, this might not be a bad thing.
The Mavs didn't know whether Haywood could contribute in Game 4, but they decided to let him try after he tested the hip during the team's morning shootaround. It was painfully obvious that Haywood couldn't help the Mavs when Miami's Chris Bosh blew by him for an easy layup moments after the backup big man replaced Tyson Chandler.
"When I got on Bosh laterally, I couldn't move," Haywood said. "I couldn't move. I could tell it was giving me some problems."
Haywood told coach Rick Carlisle that he was unavailable for the rest of the game. Chandler played 43 minutes, scoring 13 points and grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds.
Once again, the Mavericks will have to be fighting against fatigue and the Heat, as Chandler is going to have another heavy workload in Game 5.