Dwyane Wade regrets 2002 surgery

Updated: October 2, 2013, 4:30 PM ET
By Brian Windhorst | ESPN.com

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas -- With hindsight, Dwyane Wade says surgery to remove the meniscus from his left knee 11 years ago while he was at Marquette led to the ongoing knee problems he's had with the Miami Heat.

Wade has battled chronic knee issues over his career. He needed a second surgery on his left knee in 2012 and has also battled bone bruises and tendinitis.

Wade said that if more of a long-term approach was used when he had his meniscus surgery in 2002, following his sophomore season, he may not have as many issues today.

"My knee problems and the things I've dealt with started from that," Wade said. "That was [11] years ago and technology was different and the way you approach things was different.

"At that moment, if everyone looked ahead and said, 'Dwyane's going to have a 20-year career, maybe we should do something different,' maybe I wouldn't have [knee issues]. At that time it was to get me back on the basketball court and do what is best."

Wade cited Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who earlier this year had his meniscus repaired but not removed, as taking the long run approach to such an injury. Westbrook needed another surgery this week because the Thunder said a loose stitch was causing swelling.

"When Westbrook had his injury, they kind of saved his meniscus," Wade said. "Mine was taken out, and that opens you up to having certain knee injuries and problems, so that's what I've had to deal with. We have a great training staff and we have great doctors. Whatever way you look at it, I'm going into my 11th season, there's lots of guys who haven't made it this far."

Over the summer, Wade had OssaTron shockwave therapy on his knees to treat tendinitis, the second time in his career he's used the treatment. Wade had surgery on his right knee in 2007. Because of his history, the Heat are cautious with Wade and over the past few seasons have given him selective rest when his knees have acted up. He's been slowed during the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

Nonetheless, Wade reported to training camp in excellent condition, a product of rest in July and part of August followed by a six-week training routine with longtime trainer Tim Grover. Wade plans to do two more weeks of private training with Grover after the Heat return from the Bahamas, even if he has to do the workouts late at night.

"He's extremely fit, he's had a great camp so far," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's trying to win every drill."

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