NBA

Tyler Herro to return from injury for Game 7 against the Boston Celtics

By Sports Desk May 29, 2022

Tyler Herro will return from injury for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals as his Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics.

Herro, who won this season's Sixth Man of the Year, has missed Game 4, Game 5 and Game 6 with a groin injury, but was given a chance to prove his fitness with an NBA Finals berth on the line.

The 22-year-old guard averaged 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game in the regular season, shooting a career-best 39.9 per cent from long range on a career-high 6.7 attempts per game.

He has scored in double-figures in eight of his nine playoff games this season, and the Heat won two of the three games he was present for in this series against the Celtics.

His return will likely see Caleb Martin's role reduced to zero, while one of Victor Oladipo or Gabe Vincent should also see reduced minutes.

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    Leonard has undergone surgeries to repair damage to the anterior cruciate ligament and the meniscus in his right knee in the last few years, having torn his ACL during a second-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz in 2021.

    The six-time All-Star has not featured for the Clippers – who clinched the Western Conference's fifth seed – since the end of March, missing their last eight games of the regular season. 

    Speaking ahead of Thursday's practice session, the Clippers' president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank said Leonard had work to do to make Sunday's matchup at Crypto.com Arena.

    "He's doing everything, our medical staff is doing everything to get the inflammation down so he can play," Frank said. 

    "Progress has been made, but the inflammation needs to continue to reduce so he can do functional basketball movements.

    "There is no gamesmanship here and we're very sensitive of the fact that questions are going to be asked and want to be as transparent as possible. It's okay to say what the truth is. It's unpredictable. 

    "We're hoping it's trending in the right direction. It's a very accurate statement. When it gets to a point where he's able to play, then that's when he'll be back on the court."

    The two-time NBA champion averaged 23.7 points and 6.1 rebounds through 68 regular-season appearances in 2023-24, the former figure falling just short of his 23.8 points per game last term.

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    "Obviously if he's not healthy to play at a certain moment then he won't be out there. When Kawhi is healthy, he plays. 

    "Some things you can't control, regardless of how meticulous he is with his body and everything that goes into playing. You can only control what you can control and you've got to surrender to the things you can't."

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