Heat Reportedly Hope Jimmy Butler Will Return from Ankle Injury by End of Week

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2022

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
AP Photo/Michael Wyke

The Miami Heat's initial hope is that Jimmy Butler will be able to return from a right ankle injury by the end of the week, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Butler has suffered a series of injuries to his right ankle during the 2021-22 NBA season, most recently leaving Monday's game against the Golden State Warriors after slipping while trying to drive the paint.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Jimmy Butler was helped off of the court after an apparent right ankle injury.<br><br>Hoping for a speedy recovery πŸ™ <a href="https://t.co/8NcgmqKXdz">pic.twitter.com/8NcgmqKXdz</a>

He also missed time with a tailbone injury earlier in the campaign.

The 32-year-old Marquette product has been his usual productive self when healthy. He's averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.0 steals through 23 appearances during the current campaign.

Caleb Martin should see the biggest uptick in playing time for as long as Butler is sidelined. Max Strus and KZ Okpala are other options for more opportunities in the forward rotation.

Miami put together a strong start to the season, which gives it a little more flexibility when it comes to taking a conservative approach with injured players. Having everyone healthy for the playoffs is the top priority.

Butler will slide back into his typical high-usage role once cleared to return.