Jimmy Butler injury update all but dooms Heat in Play-In Tournament

The Miami Heat aren't finished yet but Jimmy Butler likely won't be around to keep them alive in the NBA Playoffs.
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat made a surprise run in the NBA Playoffs last year because Jimmy Butler always seems to raise his game in the postseason. This time around, they might not be able to rely on Playoff Jimmy.

During the first quarter of Wednesday night's Play-In Tournament game between the Heat and 76ers, Butler appeared to tweak his knee when Kelly Oubre landed awkwardly on him. He managed to stay in the game but video from the tunnel afterward showed him limping while head coach Erik Spoelstra revealed that Butler's knee was feeling tight in the second half.

The very bad news for Miami is that Butler's knee wasn't just sore. He might have picked up a significant injury.

Jimmy Butler injury update: Heat star feared to have suffered MCL injury

According to Sham Charania, Butler needs an MRI to determine if he suffered an MCL injury as is feared. If he did, he'll almost certainly miss Friday's do-or-die Play-In game.

Depending on the severity of Butler's injury, he could miss a week or a couple of months. Hope of him playing in two days time is slim. If he doesn't play and the Heat lose, it won't matter how long he is sidelined. The season will be over.

Butler had 19 points, four rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes of action. Most of those minutes were on an injured knee. Perhaps the outcome of Wednesday's game would have been different if he had been fully healthy.

Miami led by as many as 14 points but they let their lead slip as Joel Embiid, still feeling the effects of his own injury, led his team with 23 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

The 76ers punched their ticket to the NBA Playoffs proper. To stay alive, the Heat have to take on the winner of Wednesday's 9/10 Play-In Tournament matchup between the Hawks and Bulls.

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