After missing the last eight games with a tail bone contusion, Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler returned to the lineup in the Heats 93-83 victory against the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
Butler notched a double-double in his return, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and added four assists and three steals to his total tally. Overall, Butler had missed 12 of Miamis last 13 games because of his injury.
The five-time All-Star has been plagued by the injury this season, missing a total of 15 games so far in 2021-22. Butler re-injured his tailbone on Dec. 6 in a 105-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, scoring 10 points before leaving for the locker room midway through the third quarter. Butler favored his back after a hard fall in a missed driving layup early in the first quarter.
His return couldnt come at a better time as Miami was without its star guard Kyle Lowry, who entered the NBAs Health and Safety Protocols.
Butler, 32, is averaging 22.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season. The Heat are 21-13 this season but are well within range of several higher seeds in the Eastern Conference. Although Miami is the No. 4 seed, it is 1/2 game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 3 seed, one game behind the Chicago Bulls for No. 2 and 2 1/2 games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 1 spot.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.