Tyler Johnson on returning to Heat lineup
Tyler Johnson is relieved he won’t have to sit out for a while this time.
Johnson, who sprained his right ankle and exited early from the Heat’s win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, will be back in Miami’s lineup on Saturday night against the Brooklyn Nets.
Johnson landed awkwardly after stepping on Robin Lopez’s foot with 6:07 left in the second quarter of Thursday’s game and did not return.
Johnson missed five games in late January coincidentally after suffering an injury to his left ankle and Achilles after colliding with Lopez in a game against the Bulls in Chicago on Jan. 15.
"He’s mad at us that he didn’t get to finish in the second half [Thursday]," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The way this season has gone that was the no-brainer or no-brainers. Have a seat, do some treatment.
"The reality is the play looked very similar to the one in Chicago and we wanted to have a little bit of discretion and at least observe him and see how it felt the next day without having to reaggravate it in the second half."
Johnson said he believed the fact his foot turned outward in a more typical motion instead of turning inward as it did in Chicago caused less of a strain on his ligaments and likely kept him from being a prolonged recovery period.
Johnson has been in the Heat’s starting lineup the past 11 games and made 33 starts overall this season. He is averaging 11.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
"Obviously it didn’t feel great [this time], but the other one was unique because it turned in the opposite way," Johnson said. "You know you usually turn your ankle this way. Mine turned in like that so regardless of the severity of it, it’s gonna take a little bit longer because usually those ligaments are never stretched that way."