Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler misses Sunday's practice with an excused absence
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler did not practice Sunday due to what the team termed as an excused absence.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra declined to offer an update other than Butler was not with the team. During player media interviews,forward Jae Crowder hinted Butler was absent because he was in quarantine. The league announces the COVID-19 testing each Monday during the NBA restart in Orlando.
"We want to talk to him as soon as he gets out of quarantine and whatever he's in," Crowder said. "But it's just next-man-up mentality from a standpoint of staying locked in and engaged because we know he's locked in and engaged once he's able to get back with us. It's definitely a curveball for all of us."
Butler is coming off a 22-point performance in Saturday's 125-105 victory against the Denver Nuggets. He would become the fourth Heat player to test positive for the virus. The others are guard Kendrick Nunn, forward Derrick Jones Jr. and center Bam Adebayo.
All have since rejoined the team.
Butler is in his first year with the Heat after being acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers last offseason. He leads the team in scoring and was named to the NBA All-Star team earlier this season. Butler is expected to be selected to one of the All-NBA teams once postseason accolades are announced.
The No. 4 seeded Heat return to action Monday when they face the No. 2 Toronto Raptors.
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