NBA playoffs: Jimmy Butler cleared to return from ankle injury, will play in Game 3 against Knicks
It's going to take a lot more than an ankle injury to keep Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler from winning a ring. Butler was cleared to return and will play in Game 3 against the New York Knicks on Saturday, the Heat announced.
Butler sustained the injury during Game 1. He remained in the game despite the injury. Miami won the contest 108-101. Butler was unable to play in Game 2, which the Heat lost 111-105.
#NYKvsMIA INJURY UPDATE: Jimmy Butler (ankle) is available to play in today’s Game 3 vs the Knicks.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 6, 2023
The injury occurred in the final minutes of Game 1 while Butler attempted to drive the lane. He appeared to roll his right ankle on the play.
Jimmy Butler hurt his ankle with 5:05 to go. He stayed in for the rest of the game to stand in the corner and do nothing as a decoy.
The Knicks lost those minutes by four points. 😳pic.twitter.com/AKWqwWHRGq
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) April 30, 2023
Butler stayed in the contest, but was clearly feeling the injury. Despite the issue, Butler played a team-high 45 minutes during the Heat's Game 1 win. He also scored 25 points, which led the Heat.
The Knicks shouldn't be surprised by Butler's return. Following the team's Game 2 win, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who has coached Butler on multiple teams, was asked whether the Knicks would prepare for Butler's return in Game 3.
Thibodeau told reporters, "You already know the answer to that."
Stopping Butler will remain a major priority for Thibodeau and the Knicks as the team hopes to take a 2-1 lead in the series following Saturday's game.