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Jimmy Butler Will Miss ‘Several Weeks’ With A Sprained MCL


The Miami Heat will host the Chicago Bulls for the second consecutive year in a battle for the 8-seed in the Play-In Tournament, but this year’s edition will require Miami to get a win without their star, Jimmy Butler.

Butler suffered a knee injury late in the first quarter of their 105-104 loss to the Sixers on Tuesday night, and while he stayed in the game and played through the finish, he was clearly not 100 percent and had a considerable limp afterwards. An MRI on Wednesday confirmed Butler had suffered an MCL sprain, and he will be out “several weeks,” meaning he will not be available for the Play-In and likely would miss the first round if the Heat gets a win on Friday.

Butler’s importance to the Heat is hard to overstate, particularly in big games and the playoffs. While he’s scoffed at the Playoff Jimmy label, his ability to up his level of play in the postseason and become one of the best two-way forces in the NBA has been the main reason for Miami’s deep playoff runs in recent years. Without Butler and Terry Rozier, the creative load will shift further to Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo will have to impact the game in a big way offensively as a scorer. Beyond those two, they’ll need guys like Jaime Jaquez, Nikola Jovic, and Caleb Martin to step up and answer the bell in a bigger role if they’re going to punch their ticket to the playoffs.