Jimmy Butler remains optimistic despite latest injury in Miami Heat’s loss to Indiana Pacers

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In the first quarter of the Miami Heat’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday, star forward Jimmy Butler had to leave the game with a right ankle injury.

He initially made a return to the court, but the ankle apparently worsened at halftime, and the six-time All-Star eventually left the game for good in the third quarter.

So far in the 2022-23 NBA regular season, Butler has missed 12 of the Heat’s 33 games. That is not a very encouraging fact for Heat fans.

As for Butler, he recently admitted that his luck with staying healthy has just not been very good so far this season.

“My luck is not the greatest right now,” Butler, 33, said. “So you got to take it in stride, man. It’s part of this game, part of this league. But I’ll be back.”

Aside from the ankle injury that he is currently dealing with, Butler has had to contend with various scrapes recently. He missed two games because of tightness in his left hip, seven due to right knee soreness and an additional two because of right knee management.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was optimistic after Friday’s contest about Butler’s most recent injury.

“We’ll have a better idea the next couple days,” Spoelstra said. “But he did [sprain the ankle] in the first quarter. You could see he was able to still be in a little bit of a rhythm and flow in the second quarter. But it tightened up at halftime and he wasn’t moving great in the third quarter. Then we all just made the decision, let’s be smart about this and then we’ll evaluate him [Saturday].”

He also missed the Heat’s Tuesday loss to the Chicago Bulls due to a stomach bug.

Not only was Butler dealing with health issues in the two most recent games, but the Heat also lost both contests. That is a big deal for the 16-17 team that is simply trying to climb up the ladder of the Eastern Conference standings.

As it stands currently, the Heat are the No. 9 seed in the East. They are two games back from the No. 6 seed, the final seed that will eventually make it straight into the playoffs without having to contend in the play-in tournament.

Perhaps the one silver lining is that the Heat have managed to remain somewhat competitive even when Butler has not been on the floor. So far this season, the Heat have gone 5-7 in games that Butler has had to miss entirely. That’s not super impressive, but it is also an indication that the Heat have been able to find ways to win even when Butler has been absent.

On the season, the star forward is averaging 21.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He’s shooting a really impressive 52.9 percent from the field and a solid 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.

With the Heat next playing on Monday, Butler will have a couple days to rest the ankle and see how it responds to determine whether or not he’ll have to miss his 13th game of the season in that upcoming contest.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.