JUST IN: Heat guard Jimmy Butler out several Weeks (Reports)

JUST IN: Heat guard Jimmy Butler out several Weeks (Reports)
JUST IN: Heat guard Jimmy Butler out several Weeks (Reports)

JUST IN: Heat guard Jimmy Butler out several Weeks (Reports)

Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler is expected to miss several weeks due to injury, per multiple reports.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania report Butler will be out after suffering a right MCL injury in the first half of the Heat’s 105-104 SoFi Play-In Tournament loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

The Heat will host the Chicago Bulls on Friday night (7 ET, ESPN), with the winner of that game getting the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed.

How it happened: Butler was hurt late in the first quarter when he tried to fake out Kelly Oubre Jr. on a bucket, only to have his knee buckle and he fell to the court. Oubre appeared to land on the Heat star, who led the franchise to the NBA Finals in 2023.

“I fell, he landed and my knee just didn’t do well, I guess,” Butler said. “I don’t know. It’s not a good feeling, I can tell you that.”

Butler sank the free throw, exhaled and missed the second one. He remained in the game and scored 19 points, but it wasn’t enough in Philadelphia’s 105-104 win on Wednesday night.

“We just need to get one and then we’ll worry about the next one,” Butler said.

“It felt like I couldn’t do too much, which sucks with the timing of the game and everything,” Butler said. “I hope that I’m fine. I hope that I wake up tomorrow and can still stick-and-move. Right now, I can’t stay that’s the case.”

Butler was 5 of 18 from the floor overall but scored just two points in the fourth, when the Heat collapsed in the quarter.

“It just wasn’t the case,” he said. “I wasn’t able to do anything on either side of the ball. I think I hurt us more than I helped us actually.”

Impact on Heat: Butler, a former Sixer, scored 20.8 points in 60 games for the Heat. The 34-year-old Butler said he stayed in the game because he thought the “adrenaline would kick back in” and he would feel healthy enough to play at his usual level.

Butler’s absence will place a greater scoring burden on several players, including All-Star big man Bam Adebayo and versatile swingman Tyler Herro, among others. Adebayo finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds and took nine shots vs. the 76ers. Herro took a team-leading 27 shots and finished with 25 points, but shot just 33.3% and 28.6% on 3-pointers in the loss.

Last season, Miami captured the No. 8 seed via the Play-In Tournament and parlayed that to a surprising run to the NBA Finals. However, Butler was available for all but one game of that playoff run (while Herro missed it in its entirety) and provided several memorable performances. Miami will now have to clinch the No. 8 seed and create a playoff run without him, both of which are a tall order.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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