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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade sat out of his second consecutive game Wednesday against Orlando as he continues to deal with soreness in his left knee.
Wade traveled with the team to Orlando, but spent much of the day receiving treatment. He also missed Tuesday's game in Miami, and has not played since he left in the third quarter of Saturday's game in Charlotte with soreness.
The Heat have been without Wade for three of their 12 games this season, with the team expecting some absences on a regular basis early in the season as he regains strength in his knee following an offseason shock-wave procedure.
Being out of the lineup Wednesday will have given Wade a full week off before he likely tries to return for Saturday's home game against the Magic. Wade didn't not speak with reporters Wednesday, but said Tuesday that his progress will be "a slow climb" in the initial months of the season.
"We want to make sure that he's getting stronger as the season goes on," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday. "Over the weekend, it was sore, so we wanted to use these last couple of days to get him healthy, get him back training, building his legs back up."
Both Wade and Spoelstra have avoided characterizing the veteran guard's latest ordeal as a setback. But Wade said earlier in the week that he probably shouldn't have tried to play in Saturday's game in Charlotte a night after he played 34 minutes in a win against Dallas. Wade had avoided playing in both games of back-to-back sets until last week.
Wade has averaged 16.7 points, 5.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds in nine games this season. He said it could be a matter of months before he feels healthy on a consistent basis after enduring problems with both knees during the Heat's run to their second straight title last season.
Heat forward LeBron James said it's been challenging to adjust to Wade being in and out of the lineup. But James also said Wednesday there's a bigger picture in mind.
"D-Wade's got to do, obviously, what's best for him and what's best for us long term," James said. "He's on a program where if he wants to get as much rest as he can, going into the next game, then we're all for it. Guys are ready to step in and we've got to keep it moving. It's tough at times, but I've got to be more assertive, be more aggressive at times, knowing that one of the key components of our offense and defense is out."