After missing 10 games because of COVID-19, Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler is back in the lineup.
Butler will be available for Saturday's game against the Sacramento Kings.
“He’s worked extremely hard behind the scenes,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “There’s no quote, unquote minutes restriction.”
Butler hasn't played since the Heat dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak following their game against the Washington Wizards Jan. 9.
“That Washington game felt like two months ago,” Spoelstra said. “It’s just good to have everybody back and it’s great to have Jimmy back and available.”
Butler has spent the past two weeks in the NBA's pandemic protocols. He returned to the bench earlier this week and his presence was already felt.
“It’s always great seeing somebody come back," center Bam Adebayo said. "To see a familiar face and get him around the guys. Him getting back and (Bradley) being out there, it’s good that we’re a team getting back together.”
Spoelstra said the presence of Butler definitely was a confidence booster in the huddles
“That brings everyone’s spirits up," Spoelstra said. "Regardless of whoever is available, we have put ourselves in a position to be able to have opportunities to win. Now it is just getting over the hump. Now you just have to find a way to elevate each other’s games to get that win.”
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