MIAMI – Heat star Dwyane Wade practiced Saturday after taking a couple of days off to rest his troublesome knees, but remains questionable for Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Wade has missed 13 games this season, including the past four, while trying to alternate playing and rest amid a rehabilitation process designed to strengthen his right knee. Wade had a shock-wave therapy treatment on that knee during the offseason after struggling with bone bruises throughout the Heat’s run to their second consecutive title. He also continues to condition his left knee, which required offseason surgery after the 2012 NBA Finals.
Speaking to reporters for the first time Saturday amid his four-game absence, Wade discussed his latest setback, his rehabilitation and conditioning efforts to return to action, and how the team should deal with his predicament of being in and out of the lineup.
Question: How did it feel to be back in practice?
Wade: I just went through the drills, some of the drills coach put out for us today and some of the competition – getting up and down a little bit.
Q: Will you play Sunday?
Wade: I don’t know, buddy. Today was a good day, just getting back on the court. [Sunday], we’ll see.
Q: Was there another setback at this point?
Wade: At this point, there ain’t no setbacks. It’s just what I’ve been dealing with, what I’ve been dealing with all year. I don’t know where or how much back I can go. So it’s the same thing. I realized it ain’t called a "setback." It’s called, "What I’m dealing with." Let me change the meaning of that. At that time it was a setback. Now it’s not. It’s what I deal with.
Q: So how have you learned to deal with this?
Wade: You don’t. You don’t. I’m mentally strong. Mentally, you never have to worry about me. I deal with that behind closed doors. Obviously it’s physical. But it’s a big mental part of it. But I continue to keep grinding, keep working, until I can do what my body is asking me to do. It’s all I can do.
Wade: I don’t know. I like them being aggressive both ways – when I am out there and when I’m not. That’s when we’re at our best, when guys are aggressive. Those guys take great shots and they hit 50-something percent of them. When a guy is out, you get the opportunity to get more touches, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get more shots or more points. But you should always be aggressive.
Q: What kind of work have you done while you’ve been out?
Wade: A lot of weight-room stuff, trying to strengthen my legs, strengthen my knees. Stuff that I’ve done all year, so I continue to stay in the weight room. I took a couple of days off to let my knee calm down a little bit, then get in the weight room to strengthen.
Q: Can you pinpoint what has troubled the knee recently?
Wade: If I knew that … I wish I knew. If I knew that, I would try to take care of it. But I really don’t know what sets it off. That’s what my trainers try to keep figuring out. I just try to keep doing whatever they tell me to do. If this was the playoffs, I wouldn’t have been out. It’s simple as that. If we get there, hopefully we won’t be dealing with the same thing. And if we are, we’ll figure it out. We did last year and we’ll continue to do it.
Q: As you try to balance rest and playing, would you consider sitting out of next month’s All-Star Game?
Wade: I don’t know. We’ll see when we get there. If I feel any pain, I won’t play as much. So, we’ll see. I’m not really focused on playing in the All-Star Game right now. I’m focused on getting back on the court. And when that time comes, then I’ll make a decision.