It looks like the Miami Heat will have Rodney Mcgruder back earlier than expected. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra believes in this, and he told the media Tuesday after practice.

"It doesn’t matter whatever you say the timetable is, Rodney is going to get back sooner. We just have to make sure that he comes back at a healthy successful and really intelligent rate," Spoelstra stated according to the Miami Herald. Before saying this, Spoelstra shared that McGruder had a successful surgery and is "already recovering." The rehabilitation will begin immediately, Spoelstra added.

McGruder was likely to be the starter at small forward for Miami this 2017-18 season. It was a role he had in the previous season. Unfortunately, by the end of the preseason, he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left leg that was projected to keep him out for 3-6 months. But as Spoelstra mentioned, the Heat are optimistic McGruder can play again sooner.

Methodical McGruder

Similar to Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Rodney McGruder is eager for his comeback. However, he plans to take things slowly.

McGruder vowed to make the most of his rehab to be ready when his leg is back to a hundred percent. The 26-year-old Heat forward added that he will take it one day at a time.

McGruder is in his second season in Miami.

In his rookie year (2016-17 season), the former Kansas State Wildcat saw action in 78 games (65 starts) for the Heat. He averaged 6.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per outing in those appearances.

Several replacement options

As of the moment, it is uncertain who Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat will select to replace Rodney McGruder in the starting lineup.

Spoelstra and the Heat have a few good options. First on the list is Justise Winslow, who was the original starting small forward last season. Sadly, Winslow's year ended early due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Second is Josh Richardson, a rising talent and a versatile prospect for the Heat. Richardson is coming off the best year in his young career.

He can use this momentum to be an efficient replacement of McGruder.

The last choice for Miami is Okaro White. White is a developing player for the Heat like Winslow and Richardson, but he is yet to get much exposure in the NBA. He only had 35 games under his belt in the 2016-17 season and averaged just 13.5 minutes per contest. The 25-year-old spent most of the 2016-17 season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.