Wade gets knee treatment, may miss Game 5
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade received extensive treatment Tuesday on his bruised right knee and is considered questionable for Game 5 against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade will be evaluated by the team's medical staff after treatment throughout Tuesday and Wednesday before his playing status is determined.
Wade collided knees with Bulls forward Jimmy Butler in the second quarter of Monday's 88-65 victory, which gave the Heat a 3-1 series lead and put them in position to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Heat had the day off Tuesday after returning from Chicago overnight, and Wade was not available for comment. But Spoelstra addressed Wade's status during a session with reporters at AmericanAirlines Arena.
"His status hasn't changed," Spoelstra said of Wade, who has multiple bruises and has been dealing with soreness in his right knee for more than two months. "We all know what he's dealing with. He's day to day. We'll evaluate him today. We'll evaluate him tomorrow and go from there."
Wade scored just six points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field Monday and didn't attempt a free throw in 29 minutes of playing time. He returned for the second half after hurting his knee and also asked to re-enter the game in the final minutes while the Heat were comfortably ahead.
But Wade's struggles throughout the playoffs have raised concerns about the status of his health moving forward. He is averaging just 12.3 points in the playoffs overall, and only 11.3 points through four games against the Bulls.
Wade reiterated to reporters in Chicago on Monday night that he's "not 100 percent" and that he'll continue to fight through the discomfort with treatment and rest.
"I aggravated it," Wade said. "It hurt, but eventually, I was able to come back, re-tape my knee and try to finish."
Spoelstra said the team will take the same methodical approach with Wade that it did during the first-round series against Milwaukee. After Miami went up 3-0 in that series, Wade sat out of Game 4. He went through a 20-minute workout on the court and met with team doctors before the decision was made to get more rest.
The Heat swept the Bucks and had an eight-day layoff before facing the Bulls.
Wade has bruised the knee at least three times since he sustained the initial injury on March 6 against Orlando. He would miss six straight games, and eight of 10 overall, leading up to the final week of the regular season. Wade told ESPN.com that he had an MRI on his right knee back in March that revealed no additional structural damage.
Spoelstra said Tuesday that Wade has not needed a follow-up MRI in recent weeks and also hasn't required the right knee to be drained of fluid. Last season, Wade had problems with his left knee and had it drained during the second round of the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers. His left knee would eventually require offseason surgery.
For now, Spoelstra points to the fact that Wade has continued to help the Heat win and has contributed in multiple ways other than scoring as he deals with soreness.
"We know what it is and it's about managing it right now," Spoelstra said. "He spends as much time in our facility as our staff. Dwyane has proven himself as a warrior. At the end of the day, we're up 3-1 with a chance to close out (Chicago). Dwyane and his minutes have been impactful."
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