What does a "sorry I just saw this" text really mean?

A few weeks into quarantine, a guy sent me a text out of the blue asking how I was doing. Although I'm trying to avoid him as much as I can to get over my crush on him, I decided to reply out of politeness since we're friends. We ended up texting for about a few days since he would always think of a way to keep the conversation going. At first, he replied within 5-10 minutes but after a while he replied to one of my messages a little over a day later saying that he's sorry for replying late because he only just saw my message. I know for a fact that he's always on his phone, so I don't know why he would lie to me when he could've just told me the truth. Any idea if he really wanted to hear how I was doing, or if he was just so bored that he decided to contact me? This happened a while ago, and I've been getting over him since, but once in a while the question of why he would do that crosses my mind sometimes.
What does a "sorry I just saw this" text really mean?
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