ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade sat out on Wednesday night for a second straight game, the latest move in the team’s plan for handling their All-Star and his history of knee issues.
It was the third time Wade has been held out this season. He scored only four points in Charlotte on Saturday, and the Heat have been cautious with him since.
By keeping him out against Atlanta on Tuesday and then in Orlando on Wednesday, the Heat — who don’t play again until Saturday, again against the Magic — ensured that Wade will get at least a full week off.
“We want to make sure that he’s getting stronger, feeling better as the season goes on,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Over the weekend it was sore, so we wanted to use these last couple days to get him healthy, then get him back training, start building his legs back up. As we said, there’s no other way to assess it other than day-by-day.”
Wade didn’t address reporters Wednesday.
Wade had the OssaTron shock wave treatment in July to deal with knee tendinitis, one of several problems he encountered in the latter portions of the regular season and throughout Miami’s run to a second straight NBA championship.
He reported to training camp in outstanding condition, Spoelstra said. But even by Wade’s own definition, offered earlier this week, he’s only at about 75 percent — and that’s on good days.
“He’s ahead of schedule from where we anticipated probably in July, after the OssaTron therapy,” Spoelstra said. “But we know with these procedures, it takes time, and we’ll be patient with it.”
Heat forward Rashard Lewis knows exactly what that means. He’s a past OssaTron patient, and said there were times even several months after the procedure where he questioned whether it was working.
After about six months, he was a believer. He predicted Wade will be on a similar timeframe.
“You’re going to have your days when you’re sore,” Lewis said. “But it’s a process. It’s a six-month process, a six-month, seven-month process before you’re 100 percent healed. Each month it got better. It all comes with the rehab. You have to stay on top of the rehab, the treatments. You have to do your part.”
Spoelstra said the Heat have a plan, and that it is evaluated daily, based on how Wade is feeling.
“He has to go through this process. That’s the point,” Spoelstra said. “He has to push, find what level — rest if necessary, treatment if necessary — but he must train and work all the muscles around the knee, and that’s our priority. When he’s not able to do that, we back off and make sure that we get to the point of doing that. That’s what he’s been doing the last two days.”
James Jones started for the second straight night in Wade’s place. Wade is averaging 16.7 points this season for Miami. He also sat out the second game of the season, at Philadelphia.
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