Jimmy Butler Apr 17, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) picks up a loose ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat were not able to secure their playoff spot on Wednesday night, falling just short in their Play-In Tournament matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. But in even worse news, their hopes of securing the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference just got slimmer due to an unfortunate injury suffered by Jimmy Butler in Wednesday’s game.

Butler missed the final moments of Wednesday’s game after leaving with a knee injury that was feared to be a significant MCL injury.

We received an update on Butler Thursday and unfortunately, he has indeed suffered an MCL sprain, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Charnia added that Butler is now expected to miss the Heat’s final opportunity to make the postseason, a Play-In Tournament matchup against the Chicago Bulls who defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

It goes without saying that Butler’s absence could be a devastating one for the Heat. Not only is Butler far and away the Heat’s most important player, but he has also been known to be one of the best playoff performers in all of basketball over the years.

Naturally, many fans took to social media to offer their reaction to this news.

Without Butler, the Heat will need the likes of Nikola Jovic, Cody Martin, and Jaime Jaquez to step up if they want to make it past the Bulls. But for the Bulls, this presents a very real opportunity to get past the Heat and make it into a postseason series against the Boston Celtics.

Still, it’s a shame that NBA fans won’t get to see the Heat at full strength heading into this matchup, particularly because the Heat have shown in the past that they can be a real threat in the postseason.

[Shams Charania on Twitter/X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.