Sports Outside the Beltway

Pat Riley to return after all-star break?

The sidelined Miami Heat coach is rumored to be returning.

MIAMI — Heat coach Pat Riley will address the media Wednesday and is expected to announce that he will return to the bench after this weekend’s All-Star break.

After playing Portland on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, the Heat will be off until it plays back-to-back games at Houston and Dallas on Feb. 21 and 22.

After playing the Mavs, the Heat will return home to play Cleveland on Feb. 25 and then fly to New York to face the Knicks on Feb. 26, completing a string of four games in six nights.

Riley, 61, left the team Jan. 3 to have knee surgery and a hip replacement. The first procedure was Jan. 5 and the second Jan. 11.

Since then Riley – who also is president of the team – has been recuperating and undergoing rehabilitation sessions. He has made occasional visits to his office at the arena.

Last week, interim coach Ron Rothstein said he didn’t know when Riley would return.

“It’s not something you can rush back,” Rothstein said regarding his boss’ recovery.

It would be consistent with Riley’s management style that Rothstein will be the last to know of any Riley plans. Just look at how Stan Van Gundy was replaced by Riley during the 2005-06 season.

Riley doesn’t like losing and I think Shaq’s productive days are past. The team has a star in Wade but not alot more. If I were Heat owner Micky Arison, I’d have Van Gundy coach and have Riley stay in the front office. Some how I don’t see that happening.

See previously- Pat Riley Takes Indefinite Leave of Absence from Heat

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