Jimmy Butler went down clutching his ankle in Miami’s 108-101 Game 1 win over New York on Sunday and there are concerns around his status for Game 2.
Late in the fourth quarter, Butler drove to the basket but he collided with Josh Hart and rolled his ankle in the process.
Jimmy Butler is down after rolling his ankle on this play pic.twitter.com/VeiDjcF5E2
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) April 30, 2023
Butler continued to stay on the ground for a long time afterwards as he was attended to by medical staff.
He eventually got up and limped to the free throw line and made both his shots to put his team up by five points. Those were his last points of the game.
Despite clearly being in a lot of pain, the star forward hobbled on and played through the injury and only left the game with 23 seconds left on the clock.
During those last few minutes, he tried to stay in the corner and not move much. He finished the night with 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
“Find a way to win, be out there, be a presence,” Butler said after the game. “I didn’t do too much except for airball a three, but I’ll take the dub.”
Butler said that the injury felt “like a rolled ankle.”
Butler’s teammate Kyle Lowry said it showed how tough their star player really is when he stayed in the game: “That’s our guy. He’s our star. He’s our franchise player. We always want him to get up and the thoughts are hopefully he’s OK but if he’s not, we got to find, hold it down. … But this is what he does. He finished the game and he’s a tough dude.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was concerned that team may not even learn of Butler’s status until Tuesday – the day of Game 2.
“No idea,” he said. “You just don’t know with ankle sprains. I don’t even know if we’ll know more by tomorrow [Monday]. We’ll just have to see. It’ll be a waiting game. But he did not want to come out of the game, so we left him in there.”
Further testing will be able to determine if the ankle sprain is a Grade 1 (mild), Grade 2 (moderate) and Grade 3 (severe).
Hopefully, Butler has only suffered a mild sprain / roll because a severe sprain can take several weeks to fully heal.
Playoff Himmy has been in full force, as he is averaging a postseason-best of 37.6 points per game, which propelled the Heat into the second round.
More to come.