Friday, 8 April 2011

Injured Dwyane Wade not rushing back to Miami Heat

Posted by chardyboy on Friday, April 08, 2011 0 comments

source: By Joseph Goodman

The Heat is not going to rush Dwyane Wade back into the lineup to make sure his injured thigh is healthy enough for the playoff drive.

The simple act of straightening his leg caused Heat guard Dwyane Wade severe pain Monday.
Discomfort persisted Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Wade watched as his team lost an important game to the Milwaukee Bucks.
On Thursday, Wade indicated he could have played against the Bucks but didn’t want to be a “liability” on the defensive end of the court.

The point is this: Days matter more than games at this point in the regular season. With the playoffs fast approaching, health means more than a loss, playoff seeding and potential home-court advantage in the second round of the postseason.

Four games — nine or 10 days — remain until the Heat begins the playoffs. Miami (54-24) plays the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena. It’s the Heat’s second-to-last home game of the regular season and Wade, who bruised his thigh Sunday against the Nets, didn’t know Thursday if he would be ready for a return to the court.

What Wade does know: He’s ready for the playoffs to start.

On Thursday inside the Heat’s practice facility at AmericanAirlines Arena, Wade jokingly asked reporters how many games were left in the regular season. In other words, he has playoff fever.

“How many games?” Wade said. “Four? Five? Please bring them on. Let’s get them over with and get to the playoffs. 

“We’re ready.”

Wade didn’t practice with his team Thursday but did participate in a few exercises to test the strength of his leg, which he said has lacked “explosion” since colliding with Nets reserve Travis Outlaw. Wade injured his thigh in the first half against the Nets and returned to finish the game after being evaluated by the Heat’s training staff.

The next step in Wade’s return will take place Friday morning before the team’s shootaround. If the thigh bruise responds well overnight, then Wade might be available. If not, he will watch his team from the bench once again.

“Monday, I wasn’t positive at all about even Friday, that’s how much pain I was in,” Wade said. “But [Wednesday] was a good day treatment-wise and [Thursday] I woke up feeling even better, so it’s been progressing every day — it’s better and better. It’s just about when I feel I can get out there and do the things I do.”

The Heat struggled Wednesday without its star guard, who is third in the NBA in scoring (27.5 points a game). Miami shot 40.5 percent and, defensively, allowed the Bucks to gain confidence throughout the game with open driving lanes to the basket. Milwaukee finished with 42 points in the paint.

“Sometimes we take the hard way,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “[Wednesday] night was the hard way. So we had to come back, watch some film, learn from our mistakes, get back together and get ready for a win.”

The Heat entered Thursday a half game behind the Celtics for second in the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics played the Bulls on Thursday night in an important game, but Wade said the game’s outcome would not have an impact on whether he returns against the Bobcats on Friday.

The Celtics, 3-0 against the Heat, hold a playoff tie-breaker if both teams have identical records at the end of the regular season.

“We’re just ready to get to the playoffs and ready to get to that time of the year — what we all came together for,” Wade said.


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