Heat swingman Jimmy Butler, who continues to battle a right foot injury, has been ruled out for Saturday’s matchup with Phoenix, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Twitter link). It will be the third consecutive game that Butler has missed.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said on Thursday that Butler underwent both an MRI and an X-ray on the foot, which revealed no structural damage, per Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The hope for now is that rest is the best treatment for the All-Star wing.
“Jimmy had his final scan yesterday. And we understand what he’s dealing with,” agent Bernie Lee told The Herald. “And he’s working his butt off to get back on the floor ASAP and to be ready for the playoffs.”
The postseason isn’t scheduled to begin until August 17, so Butler has another 10 days to work his way back from the injury, which is mostly affecting his right ankle, according to Jackson and Chiang.
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- In the wake of Jonathan Isaac‘s season-ending ACL tear, Josh Robbins and John Hollinger of The Athletic examine how the injury will affect Isaac and the Magic going forward. Hollinger believes Isaac’s long-term All-Star potential still exists, but says the young forward now has a “longer, less certain pathway” to reaching that ceiling.
- After a series of conversations with sources and draft experts, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic takes a shot at filling out the top of the Hawks‘ draft board. Kirschner has Anthony Edwards at No. 1, followed by Deni Avdija, Isaac Okoro, Tyrese Haliburton, LaMelo Ball, Devin Vassell, Killian Hayes, and Onyeka Okongwu.
- Limits on team traveling parties mean that the Heat don’t have all their coaches and top executives with them at Walt Disney World, but head coach Erik Spoelstra said this week that he’s getting “daily notes” from president Pat Riley and other members of the organization, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel details.