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Justise Winslow says injury a blessing in disguise as he prepares for Heat training camp

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Winslow offers update on his recovery from shoulder surgery and how he’s been working on his game.

Surya Fernandez - SB Nation

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow gave an update on his return from shoulder surgery that sidelined him last season and says he fully confident he’ll be ready to go for the start of training camp. Winslow made an appearance today at the Heat’s Summer Camp for a meet and greet with kids alongside Heat lifer Tony Fiorentino and was in good spirits as he works back from an injury-riddled second NBA season.

On returning to the court and being ready in time for training camp:

“I’ve gone up against people, I’ve fallen, I’ve hit the ground and I’ve gotten up with little to no pain, pretty much no pain each time. It feels good. It feels pretty stable. Obviously it takes getting used to but I feel pretty comfortable with it. The trainers have done a great job with speeding me along this process and making sure I’ve felt comfortable with each step along the way. So I feel good and I feel like by the time training camp comes around, I’ll be 100 percent and confident in my shoulder and my game.”

On what are the most important things he’s learned on his road to recovery:

“You learn a lot. You learn about yourself. I think that’s the biggest thing, just as a man and maturing and growing as a person you learn a lot. Obviously you see the game in a different lens when you’re hurt. I think that’s something that I’m going to try to implement to my advantage right away. You learn about mental versus physical strength. You learn about the power of the mind and the brain versus your muscles and the mind is stronger. You learn a lot of different things when you can’t do something that you do so routinely. For me, it’s been a great process. I’m almost kind of happy that it happened because I learned so much as a player and as a person. It was a blessing and a curse, but more of a blessing.”

On working on his overall game and if too much is made about his shooting:

“I’m not making any excuses but I was dealing with a lot of things. I felt like in the preseason, I was shooting the ball well and shooting it how I wanted to shoot it. But you know I hit some bumps on the road but honestly, I don’t pay attention to that. My teammates tell me to shoot the ball. They have confidence in me and that’s all I can ask for. Everyone is just telling me to go out there and play my game. But I’m excited and I’m excited for this next chapter. I honestly feel like this is year two for me and not year three and so I’m looking forward to it.”

On what aspects of his game he worked on despite the shoulder injury:

“Just getting back to the basics, a lot of form shooting and a lot of fundamentals as to how to present the ball and finish better around the rim. Just being hurt, it brings you back to square one. You can’t jump from square one to square 10, you have to make all those steps in increments. For me, that was what it was all about. I never got too down on myself. I treated my rehab like any other workout or any other conditioning test. I just went after it and tried to attack it and so that’s how I got better every day.”

On how he viewed the game differently from the bench while he was injured:

“Yeah, there’s a difference. When you’re playing, as a player, when you’re on the team and you can play but coach isn’t giving you the minutes, you see the game a certain way. But then when you’re hurt, you see the game in a completely different way. That’s something that I’m grateful for, being able to see the game and see different guys’ movements and seeing different gaps and ways to exploit defenses. When you go from a player to kind of a coach role, in a sense, the game kind of shifts.”