Jimmy Butler Suffers MCL Injury

APRIL 18, 3:46pm: Butler has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain and won’t be available for Friday’s play-in game, according to Heat PR (Twitter link). As was reported this morning, he’s expected to be out multiple weeks, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Rozier has also been ruled out for Friday’s play-in game with his neck injury.

APRIL 18, 8:15am: There’s now an expectation that Butler will be out for multiple weeks, according to Charania (Twitter link). That means he’d likely miss some or all of the first round of the playoffs even if Miami wins on Friday.

APRIL 17: There are concerns that Heat forward Jimmy Butler may have suffered an MCL injury in his right knee, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Butler told reporters after tonight’s play-in loss at Philadelphia that he plans to undergo an MRI on Thursday morning to learn the extent of the damage, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Butler had a protective sleeve on the knee after the game and said he was having difficulty moving.

The initial diagnosis is a knee sprain, but the MRI will provide more clarity, Chiang adds (Twitter link). Butler needed help walking as he left the arena after tonight’s game (video link from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports).

Butler played nearly 40 minutes and contributed 19 points, four rebounds, five assists and five steals in Miami’s 105-104 loss, though he shot just 5-of-18 from the field. The Heat will host Chicago in an elimination game Friday night, and Butler’s status appears to be in doubt regardless of the MRI results.

When asked about his knee, Butler responded, “It had me feeling that I couldn’t do too much,” tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel.

Butler fell to the court and grabbed his knee in pain late in the first quarter, Chiang writes in a full story. After Kelly Oubre jumped on a pump fake, he landed on Butler and they both crashed to the floor. Butler remained down for a few minutes and limped to Miami’s bench. He was able to stay in the game, but he continued to limp and occasionally grabbed at the knee.

Although Friday’s contest will be at home, the Heat face a difficult path with the potential of an extended absence for Butler combined with the loss of Terry Rozier, who is sidelined with neck spasms. Friday’s winner will face the top-seeded Celtics in a series that starts Sunday afternoon.

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