MIAMI (Reuters) - The Miami Heat's troubles grew on Tuesday with forward Udonis Haslem ruled out "indefinitely" following surgery on a torn ligament in his left foot.
Haslem suffered the injury in Saturday's loss to Memphis and sat out Monday's 93-77 home defeat to the Indiana Pacers.
The 30-year-old power forward Haslem, turned down several offers to stay with his hometown team during the off-season in order to be part of the exciting squad featuring free agent signings LeBron James and Chris Bosh, along with long-standing franchise player Dwyane Wade.
However the Heat have hit an early rough patch in the season and stand at 8-6 after Tuesday's defeat, trailing Chicago, Orlando and Boston in the Eastern Conference.
Haslem's experience and long-standing role with the Heat was considered a key element of continuity in the new-look team but now he could face several weeks on the sidelines with some reports suggesting he could miss the entire season.
The Heat said Haslem "underwent successful surgery on an internal fixation repair of the Lisfranc ligament" and said of his return only that "he will be out indefinitely."
(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; editing by Julian Linden)