Photo: Miami Heat/Twitter

Tyler Herro is yet to hit the hardwood for his comeback as he was ruled out unavailable to play in Game 4 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Friday, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

The optimistic Erik Spoelstra told reporters that although Herro appears to be ready already to make his return from right hand injury, he still can’t take the next step yet and be slated on the grinding intensity of an NBA Finals game.

“Right now he is not cleared to take that next step,” Spoelstra said. “He has checked every box so far, but he is not at that next step yet to clear for an NBA Finals game. But he is doing everything he needs to do to take these next steps.

“This is just part of the process. You have to go through stages. First part of it was just shooting, then movement, then contact versus coaches, and then the next level of contact in practice. He has not been cleared for a game, and he is still not cleared yet.”

Herro has been showing signs of positive progress since the title series commenced for Miami. He has been out since the club’s first-round opener against the Milwaukee Bucks after breaking his right hand which ultimately required a surgery.

The Heat will look to even the series at 2-2 after a disappointing Game 3 loss on Wednesday with the Finals set to resume on Friday back in Kaseya Center.