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Tyler Herro could return if Heat reach NBA Finals

Herro has been cleared to start work with his injured hand.

2023 NBA Playoffs - New York Knicks v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Tyler Herro’s fashion might have been the butt of some jokes during the game, but his play may soon be able to do the talking.

There were reports that surfaced on Tuesday evening that Herro will be able to start doing work with his injured hand, a step in the right direction to the star guard being able to get back on the court.

Herro broke his hand in the Miami Heat’s first playoff game and hasn’t been able to do even non-contact work since.

Miami is one game away from the NBA Finals, taking a quick 3-0 lead on the Celtics prior to losing Game 4 Tuesday. The Heat’s offensive shortcomings were obvious in Game 4, and they could desperately use Herro back.

It appears unlikely there’s any chance he returns even if the Eastern Conference Finals goes a full seven games. He was expected to miss a minimum of six weeks once the extent of the fracture was revealed.

“So there’s no timetable. But he does have the brace off, and he’s able to do some ball-handling and shooting,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Herro, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who was taken out of Kentucky with the 13th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, averaged 20.1 points per game this past season, shooting a league-high 93.4% from the free-throw line.

He also notched a career-best 3 triples per game and shot 37.8% from deep. Herro totaled a career-best 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game as well, so it was a banner year for the guard.

With players like Caleb Martin stepping up in Herro’s absence, Miami has been able to thrive. The Heat may need their offensive-minded guard if they are to win the NBA Finals, a feat they weren’t able to do in 2020 when they were in a similar position (they reached the Finals in the bubble and eventually lost to the Lakers).

That said, expect further updates on Herro as the weeks continue.