Sources: Adebayo to miss 4-6 weeks for surgery

Miami Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo will undergo surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, the team announced Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Adebayo is expected to be out for four to six weeks, which would cause him to miss between 15 to 20 games.

Adebayo, 24, has blossomed into one of the NBA’s best two-way centers, able to switch out onto virtually any guard defensively while also being a hub of Miami’s offensive attack. Through 18 games this season, Adebayo is averaging 18.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

He suffered the injury during Monday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, which was Miami’s third defeat in six games. The Heat host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Veteran Dewayne Dedmon is likely to step into Adebayo’s place in the starting lineup. Miami is still down another big, forward Markieff Morris, as he’s been out since early November after injuring his neck in a loss in Denver.

The Heat, after adding All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal this summer — a deal that cost Miami a future second-round pick as part of the league’s tampering investigation, the findings of which were released earlier Wednesday — enter Wednesday’s action tied with the Washington Wizards for third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

In the jumbled East playoff picture, however, that places Miami two games behind the conference-leading Brooklyn Nets and two games ahead of a five-way tie for spots 7-11.

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