Jimmy Butler

Butler sprained MCL in Sixers-Heat play-in game, will miss several weeks

Butler will be out for Miami's second play-in tournament game Friday night.

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Heat star Jimmy Butler suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee Wednesday night and will be out for several weeks, according to the team.

Butler pump faked, drew a foul on Kelly Oubre Jr., and immediately grabbed his right knee in pain with 1.5 seconds left in the first quarter of the Heat’s 105-104 play-in tournament loss to the Sixers.

Though he remained in the game and played 40 minutes, Butler’s effectiveness was limited. He finished with 19 points on 5-for-18 shooting, five assists and five steals. 

Nicolas Batum spent the most time defending Butler, who scored just two points in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t know what was going on with his knee,” Batum said after the game. “You could see his knee was bothering him a little bit, so he was not 100 percent Jimmy. I just tried to be aggressive with him. … In the first half, they were being aggressive with us, attacking us. We just turned that around in the second half.”

Butler told reporters postgame that he was hoping his mobility would improve following the initial injury. 

“I thought the adrenaline would kick back in and I would be able to move, and it just wasn’t the case,” he said. “I wasn’t able to do anything on either side of the ball, and I think I hurt us more than I helped us, honestly.”

Miami again listed Terry Rozier as out with neck spasms for its play-in game Friday night vs. the Bulls. The winner of that matchup will face the top-seeded Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Sixers will start their first-round series against the Knicks on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. 

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