Heat coach Pat Riley, who also announced Wednesday that he was
taking a medical leave of absence, said Walker and Posey may be
back as soon as Friday in Phoenix -- but could face suspension by
Jan. 15 if the undisclosed goal is not met.
"There's been an ongoing conditioning goal that our team has
had to make since the summer. ... January was the deadline, they
haven't made it, and they knew this was going to happen if they
didn't make it," Riley said. "By the way, both of them are in the
best condition of their lives. They're very close. But a deadline
is a deadline."
Neither player will travel with the Heat to Phoenix on Thursday,
instead staying behind to work with team strength and conditioning
coach Bill Foran. Miami opens a six-game Western road trip against
the Suns on Friday, and it's possible both could join the team
sometime during the swing.
Walker declined comment before Wednesday's game, which the Heat
Posey said his deactivation stemmed from a rule the Heat has
about body fat. He said his body fat is 9 percent, but Riley wanted
it to be 8 percent.
"He wants the weight to be down and he has his standards, I
guess, for the bigs and the perimeters or whatever," Posey said.
"It's the weight and for the perimeters [it's] 8 percent body fat.
... I'm at 9 percent body fat. And, that's not eight."
With center Shaquille O'Neal (knee surgery), forward Wayne
Simien (recovering from salmonella poisoning) and guard Dwyane Wade
(sprained wrist) all expected to miss Wednesday's game with
injuries, the absence of Walker and Posey means the Heat will dress
only 10 players against the Clippers.
Posey is averaging 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds this season,
while Walker is averaging 7.9 points and 4.1 rebounds on 40 percent