Significant Jimmy Butler injury update suggests return to Miami Heat could take longer than expected

A new report suggests the Miami Heat will take a patient approach with Butler's foot injury.
Miami Heat v Utah Jazz
Miami Heat v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Jimmy Butler has flown back to Miami to receive treatment on his right foot injury that has kept him out of the Miami Heat’s last three games, including Friday night’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns, and it doesn’t appear that he’ll be returning any time soon.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Heat are taking a cautious approach with Butler’s injury.

"Jimmy Butler is going to have to take some time here,” Charania said on FanDuel TV. “[The Heat] are going to be cautious with him.”

“He dealt with a calf strain on the opposite leg and now he has a foot issue on the other leg,” Charania continued. “Butler, we forget, he is advanced in his career. This is a guy who is on the other side of 30. He’s played at such a high, peak level in his prime, his prime has extended so long in my opinion.”

A new report suggests the Miami Heat will take a patient approach with Jimmy Butler's foot injury.

Butler, 34, has missed seven of Miami’s last eight games with a calf strain and right foot injury the team is reporting as a “right first MP joint sprain.” After missing four straight with a calf sprain, Butler returned for Miami’s Dec. 30 loss to the Jazz but exited early with the foot injury. He then missed both games in Los Angeles against the Clippers and Lakers before returning to Miami before the Heat’s final game of their five-game trip in Phoenix, according to local reports.

If Butler is forced to miss more time, the Heat will continue to rely on rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. and others. It doesn’t help matters that Haywood Highsmith (concussion protocol) and Caleb Martin (right ankle sprain) have also been sidelined with injuries.

But the Heat have shown they are willing to be patient with their stars at this stage of the season, having previously held out Bam Adebayo for seven straight games as he recovered from a lingering hip injury.

Heading into Friday night, the Heat are 5-2 without Butler in this stretch. They can win without him, at least in the regular season. Like with Adebayo, the priority is and should be to make sure Butler is as healthy as he can be in time for the postseason.