Miami guard Tyler Herro has been upgraded to questionable for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a strong indication that the Heat plan on having him available to play against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night as they try to extend their season.
Herro has not played since breaking his right hand in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Milwaukee. He has recovered from surgery to repair the fractures and has been doing on-court work for several days in an effort to get back on the court.
He was listed as out for Game 5 when the initial Heat injury report for the game was released Sunday. The Heat upgraded him on Monday morning in Denver.
“You have to go through stages,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said last week when discussing Herro’s return. “First part of it was just shooting, then movement, then contact versus coaches and then the next level of contact in practice.”
Miami trails the finals 3-1. The Nuggets are seeking their first NBA title and need only one win to get it, with Game 5 — and Game 7, if necessary — both set to be played in Denver. If the Heat win on Monday, Game 6 would be in Miami on Thursday.
Herro also missed some time in last season’s playoffs with a groin injury. It sidelined him for three games of the East finals against Boston, before he returned for Game 7 and struggled in what became the final game of the season for the Heat.