Sprained MCL Expected To Keep Jimmy Butler Sidelined A Few Weeks

Apr 17, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots past
Apr 17, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots past / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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If the Miami Heat are able to defeat the Chicago Bulls and advance to the NBA playoffs, they will be without Jimmy Butler for at the least first round.

The Heat announced Butler will not play Friday against the Bulls due to an MCL sprain he sustained in the first quarter Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Heat received the MRI results Thursday afternoon.

Butler is expected to miss a couple weeks, leaving the Heat without their best player. If the Heat win, they would face the Boston Celtics in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The same Celtics who the Heat faced in the conference finals the past two years.

"I feel like when we play the right way and do the right things, we're hard to beat," Heat center Bam Adebayo said. "We can compete with anybody as we've shown in the past and we'll show it." 

The injury occurred while Butler was going up for a layup after a pump-fake. He landed awkwardly and was in obvious pain. Butler played through it but wasn't his usual self after the early fall.

Butler finished with 19 points on 5 of 18 shooting in 40 minutes.

"It really stiffened up on in the second half," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "As the second half went on, it started to limit him a little bit more ... We have no idea. We'll see when we get back to Miami."

After making the NBA Finals last year, the Heat now face the possibility of missing the postseason. The road is much tougher without Butler.

“We will do this the hard way,” Spoelstra said. “That has to be the path right now. We're going to rest up, treat up, rally around each other up, get ready for Friday. Again, embrace these competitive games. It will be competitive in front of our home fans.”

Shandel Richardson