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Jimmy Butler dealing with lower back injury in Game 3 Saturday vs. Bucks

The Heat star took a nasty fall but is going to fight through the pain.

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat - Game Three
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat dribbles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Kaseya Center on April 22, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Update: Butler has returned to the Heat bench, and it looks like he’s at least going to fight through whatever pain he’s dealing with for this contest. The series is split 1-1 right now, so Butler probably feels he should go. It’s officially a lower back injury for Butler, and the word from the broadcast is he will return to this game. Given the margin and possibility he aggravates the injury, there’s a chance he doesn’t come back.

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler went to the locker room late in the third quarter of Game 3 Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks with an apparent leg injury. Butler took a bad fall earlier in the quarter and attempted to play through the pain but was in some discomfort as he walked back to the locker room.

This could also be a back injury for Butler, who did stay on the floor for a bit after taking the fall but appeared to be fine in the minutes after. Unfortunately, the pain was just too much and the Heat had to get their star checked out further. This series has already been tough on the injury front, with Tyler Herro done due to a broken hand and Giannis Antetokounmpo missing Games 2 and 3 with a back injury.

Butler has been a star in this game for the Heat with 30 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He’s been the key offensively for a team that has generally struggled to find consistent buckets this season, especially at home.

If Butler cannot return to this game, look for Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo to take more shots in the offense. Max Strus is also a candidate for additional usage. The Heat have a good lead on the Bucks entering the final frame, so it’s unlikely Butler’s absence will have major implications on the game result.