Jimmy Butler waiting game continues, Friday vs. Celtics next target return date – The Denver Post


While it still appears that Jimmy Butler’s return will come against the Boston Celtics, that return apparently will not happen until the second of the team’s two meetings this week.

Butler was not with the Heat for Tuesday’s practice at Emerson College, so the expectation is that Butler, who has missed the past six games with a sore right knee, will be back with the team for Friday night’s game at TD Garden. The Heat also play the Celtics at TD Garden on Wednesday night.

Butler has been taking treatment in South Florida and has been posting video of his workout on the Heat’s practice court.

There has been no word of any setbacks with Butler, but the team generally does not comment on the status of injured players beyond the league’s official injury reports.

The Heat lost the first three games that Butler missed, on the road against the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, but since have won in his absence twice at home against the Wizards and then on Sunday night against the Atlanta Hawks at the start of this four-game trip.

A Friday return by Butler would have him in play for the trip’s final two games, Friday against the Celtics and Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

It then could get interesting again, with that game in Memphis the opening night of a back-to-back set of games that concludes Tuesday night against the visiting Detroit Pistons.

Butler’s most recent action was the Nov. 16 road loss to the Toronto Raptors, when he scored 13 points in 38 minutes.

Some of Butler’s absence has been mitigated by the return of guard Tyler Herro the past three games, after he missed the previous eight with a sprained left ankle. Herro is coming off Sunday’s first career triple-double. Center Bam Adebayo has been picking up the scoring burden during this three-game winning streak, with 38 and 32 points the past two games.

Butler has missed eight of the Heat’s 21 games, sitting out two earlier this month with hip soreness, with the Heat splitting those two games, leaving them 4-4 in his absence.

This story will be updated following the Heat’s practice today in Boston.



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