Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has yet to provide an update on Jimmy Butler’s injured right ankle that he picked up during Game 1 of the team’s playoff series against the New York Knicks. Butler felt the contact while driving to his right on Knicks guard Josh Hart and was left unable to put his full weight on his right foot as he made his way to the bench later in the game. Teammate Caleb Martin said that the team is preparing for both Butler possibly playing through the injury and for the scenario where he is unable to feature in the next game.
Prior to the series against the Knicks, Miami had already been struggling with several player injuries, with Tyler Herro fracturing his right hand during the first round of the playoffs and Victor Oladipo tearing his left patellar tendon. Commenting on the team’s injury situation, Spoelstra said “It’s like we’re just doing this today. It’s been six months of this kind of life. We still don’t know who will be available for them. That’s why you have to focus on doing your prep.” Despite the potential injury setbacks, Miami are ultimately looking to continue to put up a competitive performance in their games.
Heat Guard Max Strus said that they are hopeful that Butler will recover in time and take part in the game, but he also acknowledged that the team would prepare for whatever the scenario. Miami does have other players that are capable of filling in when required, which will provide a glimmer of hope for the team moving forward. Nevertheless, given the seriousness of Butler’s potential injury, the team will undoubtedly want him to recover and return to the field as soon as possible.