By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Josh Richardson is bracing to be sidelined for the next six to eight weeks, a timetable that virtually ensures he will miss the entirety of Miami Heat training camp and calls into question his availability to start the season. The Heat shooting guard partially tore the MCL in his right knee on Friday in an off season workout.

“They said it’s depending on how the rehab and stuff goes, how I approach it,” Richardson said. “But anywhere from like, they said, six to eight weeks, somewhere around there.” Richardson made a pre-scheduled appearance at a store opening Saturday, arriving with the help of crutches and with his right leg in a brace stretching from his ankle to his mid-thigh.

He will not need surgery, barring a setback.

“When I hit the ground, it was like my knee was on fire,” Richardson said. “I just kind of laid there and my teammates helped me off and carried me off to the training room. I just tried not to think the worst.”

Richardson averaged 6.6 points in 52 games with Miami last season, but became a key part of the rotation after the All-Star break – shooting 53 percent from 3-point range.

With Dwyane Wade leaving for Chicago this summer, Richardson figured to be in the mix for the open starting spot at shooting guard along with Heat newcomers Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington.

“There’s 82 games this season,” Richardson said. “So I’m going to have a lot of games to play, still. But man, I’m excited for my new brothers on the team and my brothers that were already here. I know they’re going to hold the fort down when I’m out.”

The Heat open training camp Sept. 27. The season-opener is Oct. 26 at Orlando.