Latest on Richardson and Rozier’s injuries, and Butler’s availability for Heat on upcoming trip

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Injuries have been one of the Miami Heat’s biggest problems this season, and it continues to be a problem.

Just when the Heat had reached a point of relatively full health for the first time this season, guards Josh Richardson and Terry Rozier left Sunday’s 110-106 home loss to the Boston Celtics early with new injuries. Richardson left early in the second quarter with a right shoulder injury, and Rozier left midway through the third quarter with a right knee injury, and both players did not return to the game.

An MRI on Monday revealed Richardson suffered a dislocated right shoulder, a league source confirmed to the Miami Herald. While there’s not yet a definitive timetable for his return, he’s expected to be re-evaluated in a “couple weeks,” according to a source.

An MRI on Rozier’s injured knee produced relatively positive news on Monday, confirming that he avoided a significant injury. Rozier was diagnosed with a sprained knee, which is being considered a week-to-week injury, according to a league source.

Robinson, Brown incident adds to heated Heat-Celtics history: ‘That rivalry still stands’

This news comes as the Heat embarks on a two-game trip before heading into the All-Star break later this week. The Heat begins the trip Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum (8 p.m., Bally Sports Sun) before taking on the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday and then entering the week-long All-Star break.

“More than anything, you just feel for those guys,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Sunday when asked about the injuries to Richardson and Rozier. “They’re competitors, they want to be out there, they’re trending in a much better direction. Josh was just starting to get healthy and really starting to get his legs under him and really starting to make an impact on both ends of the floor for us. Terry was getting a lot more comfortable.”

Along with missing Richardson and Rozier for the upcoming trip, the Heat will also be without star Jimmy Butler for the next two games. Butler missed Sunday’s loss to the Celtics and is away from the team following a death in his family, and his return won’t come until after the All-Star break.

“Jimmy Butler has been granted a leave of absence as he deals with the death of a family member,” Butler’s agent Bernie Lee said in a statement issued by the Heat on Sunday. “Jimmy and his family ask for privacy at this point in time as they navigate this loss. Updates will be given when appropriate.”

The Heat will be without Butler, Richardson, Rozier and Dru Smith (season-ending knee surgery) against the Bucks. And Duncan Robinson is listed as questionable with a left shoulder/elbow sprain, which he sustained during an incident with Celtics forward Jaylen Brown late in Sunday’s game.

While the Heat appears to have avoided the worst-case scenario, the injuries to Richardson and Rozier are just the continuation of an unfortunate trend for the Heat. Miami already entered Monday with the fifth-most missed games in the NBA this season due to injury at 164 games, according to Spotrac’s tracker.

Richardson, who has been a fixture in the bench rotation, hurt his shoulder when reaching in to try to steal the ball from Celtics star Jayson Tatum just a few minutes into Sunday’s second quarter.

“It’s a regular play, honestly,” Richardson said after Sunday’s game. “I reached and J.T. spun and like tried to pull the ball with him, and it’s just like a weird angle. It was just kind of like a freak accident.”

Richardson immediately went down to the court and grabbed at his right shoulder before being helped to the locker room by the Heat’s training staff.

“I felt my shoulder pop out on the floor and then pop back in when I was laying on the ground,” Richardson said.

Rozier, who has been a fixture in the starting lineup since being traded to the Heat in late January, went up for a layup and came down awkwardly on his right leg after drawing a foul while in the air midway through Sunday’s third quarter.

Rozier fell to the court and immediately grabbed at his right knee, writhing in pain before the Heat’s training staff helped him to the locker room.

The possibility of playing without both Richardson and Rozier for a few weeks will force the Heat’s rotation to change.

Richardson had played more than 20 minutes in six straight games before leaving Sunday’s loss early and Rozier has logged more than 25 minutes in each of his first nine games with the Heat before exiting Sunday’s defeat early.

Richardson, 30, is averaging 9.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 34.7 percent on threes in 43 games (six starts) this season.

Rozier, 29, is averaging 12.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 23.4 percent on threes in 10 games with the Heat since the Charlotte Hornets traded him to Miami.

If Richardson and Rozier are both out for extended stretches, the Heat will be left very thin at the guard position.

With the Heat currently missing three guards in Richardson, Rozier and Smith, two-way contract player Alondes Williams is the only healthy traditional guard on the roster besides Tyler Herro. Williams and fellow two-way contract player Cole Swider will join the Heat in Milwaukee for Tuesday’s matchup against the Bucks.

The Heat will need to rely on wings such as Jaime Jaquez Jr., Caleb Martin and Butler, center Bam Adebayo, or even forward Nikola Jovic to take on more ball-handling duties to make up for its lack of healthy guards until Richardson and/or Rozier return.

The Heat, which has an open spot on its 15-man roster, could add a guard to provide some depth at the position through free agency/the buyout market. The Heat has minimum contracts and the $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception to offer free agents, or Miami can sign a player to a 10-day contract.

Among the guards who are available or may become available through a buyout in the coming days and weeks include Seth Curry, Killian Hayes and Cory Joseph. All three players would be eligible to sign with the Heat as a free agent this season because their pre-waiver salaries are under $12.4 million.

The Heat could also sign a guard from its G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, to its 15-man roster like guard Jamaree Bouyea. The Heat remains intrigued by Bouyea, and he has a history with the Heat after previously signing a 10-day contract and two-way contract with the team last year before Miami waived him in September.

But even with the Heat entering Monday in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 28-25 after advancing to the NBA Finals last season, one thing the Heat won’t do is use injuries as an excuse.

“There’s no excuses with this group,” Robinson said. “We’re always going to be, we have enough and next man up.”