Heat's Jimmy Butler on Joel Embiid's Orbital Injury: 'I Feel Bad for My Guy'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 30, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 26: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts on the bench against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 26, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Jimmy Butler's exit from Philadelphia was acrimonious, but he still has love for former teammate Joel Embiid. 

The Heat guard said he hopes Embiid is able to return during Miami's second-round series against the Sixers after the MVP candidate suffered a concussion and fractured orbital bone in his left eye. 

"I feel bad for my guy. ... I think I speak for everybody that's a part of this team, we want Jo to play. We want to go up against them at full strength and prove that we can hang with anybody and we can beat anybody," Butler told reporters Saturday.

Embiid does not have a timetable for his return. John Clark of NBC Sports Philly reported Saturday that surgery is not necessary, and there is still some hope Embiid is on the floor at some point in Round 2.

Butler and Embiid played together during the 2018-19 season. While Butler has been largely critical of his brief time in Philly, he's consistently praised Embiid as one of the few positives from his tenure.

Embiid has likewise maintained a friendly relationship with Butler despite his departure.

The Sixers and Heat are both banged up heading into Monday's Game 1. Butler is dealing with a lingering knee injury, Kyle Lowry has a hamstring injury and Tyler Herro missed practice Friday with a non-COVID illness.