Heat say Herro may miss time for virus-related issue

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Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) looks to pass the ball under pressure from Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

MIAMI – The Miami Heat may have another player missing games for virus-related reasons, after second-year guard Tyler Herro revealed that someone who lives with him tested positive for COVID-19.

Herro is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for Monday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets, that announcement coming Sunday afternoon — less than 24 hours after Herro learned of the positive test and his potential exposure.

The reason the Heat cited for having Herro on the report is the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which only means it is a virus-related reason and does not suggest that he tested positive. Herro was not with the team for practice Sunday.

Miami — off to a 7-12 start after going to the NBA Finals last season — has already had eight players miss a combined 30 games for virus-related reasons, including a 10-game absence for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler. If Herro cannot play Monday, he’d become the ninth Heat player on that list.

“By any means necessary right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve been through so much. I think everybody is able to adapt to this. This is what’s required right now.”

Not long after Miami beat Sacramento 105-104 to snap a five-game losing streak Saturday night, Herro publicly stated that someone living in his home had just tested positive. Herro is tested daily and obviously had not tested positive Saturday, since the NBA and Heat permitted him to be on the floor; he played a team-high 40 minutes and scored 15 points.

But even being around someone who has the virus sets the NBA’s contact-tracing wheels into motion, to determine if Herro could have been exposed. That investigation will determine if Herro — who had the virus last season, before the NBA’s restart bubble at Walt Disney World was launched — will have to quarantine and if so, for how long. Such absences have typically been about a week, some a bit shorter.

“We all know how crazy this time is going,” Herro said Saturday. “Someone who lives with me tested positive before the game and I found out at halftime. I don’t know; hopefully, I don’t have to quarantine. It’s just crazy what’s going on. It’s crazy.”