Heat’s Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro return Friday vs. Timberwolves

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Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro were back in the mix for the Miami Heat for Friday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Herro had not played since the April 23 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks, missing the six games leading up to Friday night with what the team listed as right-foot soreness.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said his staff left Thursday’s workout heartened about Herro.

“An important day for Tyler,” Spoelstra said. “I was able to watch all of his workout. He’s been making progress. And we were all left [Thursday] night encouraged by it. And he checked the boxes again this morning.

“The most important thing was how his foot would respond and he was ready to go.”

Spoelstra said a cautious approach will follow.

“I’m going to monitor it,” he said. “His minutes won’t be where they were. But there’s not a hard line.

“But we’re at a point where it’s whatever is necessary, whatever minutes you can give.”

Butler had been dealing with flu-like symptoms, with the illness having kept him out of Tuesday night’s home loss to the Dallas Mavericks, after he had appeared in 18 of the previous 20 games.

“Jimmy is a great player. He is an MVP candidate. He’s going to have an impact,” Spoelstra said of falling to he Mavericks with Butler out. “That’s true for every great player in this league, and there’s only a handful of them around.

“So we did not play well the other night, and we’re not making excuses for it, the fact that Jimmy wasn’t there.’

The Heat previously had declared Victor Oladipo as out. Oladipo has not played since landing awkwardly on a dunk attempt on March 8 in the victory against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. He missed his 15th consecutive game Friday, due to what the team is listing as right-knee soreness.

The Heat have five more games remaining in their regular season after Friday, with just one more home game, on May 13 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

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