Injured Jimmy Butler Won’t Return For Miami vs. Pelicans

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MIAMI, FL — The Miami Heat will be without Jimmy Butler for the rest of the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas Day (25).

Butler Not Fully Healed From Ankle Injury

Butler, who came into the game with a right ankle injury, did not start the second half after playing 16 minutes in the first half and the Heat said the All-Star forward will not return to Friday’s game.

Butler was questionable entering the contest due to a sore ankle, after rolling it in the 113-107 defeat to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night but passed a fitness to start the game.

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However, he was unable to keep the ankle loose enough to continue playing through the Christmas Day showdown and had to leave the game.

“We have experience and enough veteran guys to get the job done,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Prior to leaving the matchup, he played a little over 16-minutes and scored four points with six rebounds, five assists, and a steal. Butler shot 2 of 7 from the field.

This now means the Heat will look to extend the minutes of Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro in the second half. It is now left to be seen if Butler will be able to shake off the injury to play back-to-back games against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the defeat to the Magic earlier this week, he collected a career-high seven steals to go along with 19 points and seven assists.