Tyler Herro’s status for Heat unknown after possible COVID-19 exposure

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Khobi Price, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·3 min read
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The Miami Heat may have to deal with COVID-19-related absences once again after nearly having their roster whole again.

Tyler Herro revealed after the Heat’s 105-104 win over the Sacramento Kings that someone he lives with tested positive for the coronavirus.

Herro said he learned about the potential COVID-19 exposure during halftime of Saturday evening’s game.

He didn’t know at the time if he’d have to be placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols due to possibly being deemed a close contact.

Herro disclosed this information on the same night Jimmy Butler returned to the floor for the Heat after missing the team’s past 10 games due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

Kendrick Nunn didn’t play in the Heat’s win Saturday because he was waiting for a pre-game COVID-19 test result when the game started. He was cleared by the second quarter and could have played, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was already into his rotation by then.

Herro previously confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 last summer while the 2019-20 NBA season was shutdown, but players who’ve previously tested positive for the coronavirus aren’t exempt from having to face absences due to the league’s health and safety protocols relating to contact tracing.

Bam Adebayo and Nunn confirmed they tested positive last summer for COVID-19 and both missed a week of action earlier this month due to the protocols.

“It’s crazy. We all know how crazy this time is going,” Herro said. “Hopefully, I don’t have to quarantine. It’s crazy what’s going on.”

COVID-19 contact tracing has already significantly impacted the Heat’s season, with Miami entering Monday’s game versus the Charlotte Hornets at AmericanAirlines Arena with a 7-12 record.

The Heat had eight players enter the league’s health and safety protocols after their matchup against the Celtics scheduled for Jan. 10 in Boston was postponed because Miami didn’t have the league-required eight available players due to contact tracing.

Those eight players were: Adebayo, Avery Bradley, Butler, Goran Dragic, Moe Harkless, Udonis Haslem, Nunn and KZ Okpala.

After the Heat dropped two games to the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center when Miami only had eight available players — the league’s minimum for a team to play a game — Adebayo, Dragic, Harkless, Haslem, Nunn and Okpala were available for the team’s loss to the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 16, suggesting their one-week absence was due to contact tracing.

The NBA doesn’t reveal which players are in the league’s health and safety protocols due to a positive COVID-19 test or contact tracing.

Players who test positive for the coronavirus are expected to be out for at least two weeks.

Bradley revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 and returned to the court last Wednesday in the Heat’s loss to the Denver Nuggets, with Butler returning to the floor three days later.

This story will be updated.