Lun. May 27th, 2024

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Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is expected to be sidelined for several weeks with a right MCL injury suffered in Wednesday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Butler was hurt on the final play of the first quarter in Philadelphia. He remained in the game but scored a total of 12 points the rest of the way on 3-for-14 shooting, as Miami’s offense dried up after taking a 12-point halftime lead, allowing Philadelphia to come from behind and close a 105-104 victory.

The Heat will host the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, with the winner securing the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round playoff series matchup against the Boston Celtics.

After leaking out for a potential fast-break layup in the first quarter, Butler tried to fake out Philadelphia’s Kelly Oubre Jr. to attempt to make a layup, only to have his knee buckle after it appeared Oubre landed on it, causing Butler to fall to the floor in pain.

Butler said after the game that he would undergo an MRI on Thursday, adding «I hope that I wake up tomorrow and can still stick-and-move. Right now, I can’t say that’s the case.»

Butler, a former Bull and Sixer, scored 20.8 points in 60 games for the Heat this season. The six-time All-Star said he stayed in Wednesday’s game because he thought the «adrenaline would kick back in» and he would feel healthy enough to play at his usual level.

Butler’s absence only adds to Miami’s major injury issues, with point guard Terry Rozier out with a neck strain and shooting guard Duncan Robinson bothered by a back injury. Robinson was cleared to play Wednesday but did not appear in the game.

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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