Injured Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro has been cleared for basketball activities and has started participating in individual drills.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra provided an update on Herro prior to Monday's Eastern Conference finals Game 4 against the Boston Celtics. Per Spoelstra, Herro still doesn't have a timeline to return, but is making progress from the broken right hand he sustained in Miami's playoff opener against the Milwaukee Bucks.
"He is starting the process," Spoelstra said. "So there's no timetable. But he does have the brace off, and he's able to do some ball handling and shooting."
Erik Spoelstra update on Tyler Herro: He is starting the process, so there's no timetable. He does have the brace off and he's able to do some ball handling and shooting. #HEATCulture pic.twitter.com/d3IGIM5JcH— Brendan Tobin (@Brendan_Tobin) May 23, 2023
Herro injured his shooting hand while diving for a loose ball against the Bucks on April 16. He told reporters that the second and third metacarpal in his right hand "just snapped in half." Herro underwent surgery for the injury on April 21 and was given a six-week minimum timetable to return.
Tyler Herro was in pain after an apparent hand injury pic.twitter.com/k6OUQMt5JD— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 16, 2023
At the time, the injury was largely presumed to be season-ending. The 8th-seeded Heat had lost their best shooter in a series against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. But the Heat have since gone on to beat the Bucks and then the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals. They enter Tuesday's Game 4 a win away from the NBA Finals with a 3-0 lead over the Celtics. If they advance, a chance remains that Herro could return in some capacity.
The six-week timeframe from Herro's surgery would end on June 2. Game 1 of the Finals is scheduled for June 1 with the Denver Nuggets awaiting the Celtics-Heat winner. The Miami Herald reports that Herro's return this postseason is "unlikely," but it hasn't been ruled out.
Herro was Miami's third-leading scorer during the regular season behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. He averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 37.8% on 8 3-point attempts per game.
Strong shooting has been key to Miami's postseason success. After ranking 27th in the regular season in 3-point shooting at 34.4%, the Heat lead the postseason while shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc.