Report: Tyler Herro takes next step in recovery from surgically repaired right hand

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Tyler Herro has had the brace removed from his surgically repaired right hand but the Miami Heat guard has not been cleared to shoot with that hand, Allie LaForce of TNT reported Sunday.

Herro has not played since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 16. He scored 12 points in 19 minutes before he was injured diving for a loose ball just before halftime.

The Heat have overcome the loss of the shooting guard and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami won the first two games of that series on the road against the Boston Celtics and are playing Game 3 at home on Sunday.

Herro’s initial recovery time was set at four to six weeks, and he held out hope the Heat would advance so he would have a chance to return this postseason. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for June 1.

“That’s the hope. Get to the Finals, and I can get back for that,” Herro said.

Forward Duncan Robinson started in place of Herro in Game 2 against the Bucks, but forward Kevin Love has started the 12 games since then, including Sunday.

Entering Sunday, Love was averaging 19.6 minutes and 6.3 points in the 12 games since Herro was injured. Forward Caleb Martin was contributing 12.0 points in 28.2 minutes per game since then.

Herro was Miami’s third-leading scorer this regular season at 20.1 points per game, behind Jimmy Butler (22.9) and Bam Adebayo (20.4).

Herro, the NBA Sixth Man of the Year last season, started all 67 regular-season games he played this season, his fourth in the league. He started a total of 33 games in his first three NBA seasons.

Miami eliminated the No. 1 seed Bucks in the first round before knocking out the New York Knicks in six games in the second round.

The Heat rallied to win each of the first two games against the Celtics, 123-116 in Game 1 and 111-105 in Game 2.

“Being in the playoffs, you work so hard all year to be in this moment,” Herro said. “I feel like I had some things to prove this postseason. It was a tough moment. I still can’t believe it.”

Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday at Miami. Game 5, if necessary, is at Boston on Thursday, with Game 6 scheduled at Miami on May 27. Game 7 would be at Boston on May 29.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.