Erik Spoelstra discloses how Miami Heat plan to approach Jimmy Butler’s ankle injury

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After the Miami Heat’s Christmas Day win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra explained the reasoning for keeping Jimmy Butler on the bench during the game’s second half.

He also hinted at how the Heat will approach the injury.

Butler had been questionable for the Pelicans game because of the ankle injury that occurred during the Heat’s opening-game loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Spoelstra and the Heat medical staff will most likely take a careful approach to bringing Butler back, knowing that bringing him back too soon could risk further injuring the ankle.

Just two games into the 2020-21 season, there’s no reason to rush Butler back into the lineup. That may rub against Butler’s insatiable desire to compete, but looking at things from a long-term perspective appears to be the right approach.

The Heat will be off until next Tuesday, when they host the Milwaukee Bucks in back-to-back home contests. The hope is that keeping Butler off the ankle during that time will speed up his rehabilitation.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.