Dwyane Wade missed his fourth game in a row Thursday because of soreness in his knee. Wade was ruled out Thursday morning after the Heat’s shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena. Wade has missed 13 games this season as he recovers from offseason shockwave knee therapy.
The OssaTron treatment Wade received in the offseason summer is expected to strengthen his knees and help to extend his career, but the full recovery time following the procedure is about six months. Teammate Rashard Lewis underwent the procedure last year.
Wade last played Jan. 17 against the 76ers and afterward scratched himself from the active roster for the next night’s game against the Bobcats. He hasn’t played since. Wade scored eight points in each of his past two games.
It has been a trying week for Wade, who addressed his health on Twitter on Wednesday, an off day for the Heat.
“Thanks to every[one] who has been concerned about my health this year,” Wade wrote. “It’s mentally challenging to say the least. ... But you don’t get results by being mentally defeated. I’m in the lab trying to get better everyday for my team.”
Wade then posted a hashtag of “my belief is stronger than doubt.”
On Thursday morning, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade’s absence from the lineup isn’t cause for concern, but this is the longest stretch of inactivity for Wade this season. He sat out two games in a row twice before.
Adding to Wade’s sobering week, USA Basketball left him off of its player pool for 2014-2016, meaning it’s highly unlikely Wade will represent the United States in the 2016 Rio Games. Injuries prevented Wade from competing in the 2012 London Olympics, and while his exclusion from the team wasn’t a complete shock, it’s significant nonetheless.
LeBron James is the only Heat player in the pool.
On a conference call Thursday morning, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo cited Wade’s “physical situation” for not naming Wade to the current U.S. player pool.
“We appreciate the service he gave us ... but it’s time for us to move on,” Colangelo said.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers won three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002 and then failed to reach the 2011 Finals after back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. In other words, Bryant knows what the Heat is struggling with right now.
The team entered Thursday’s game with a 6-5 record in January.
“It’s like a malaise that kind of sets in over the team,” Bryant said.
Bryant added that he believes James has done a “fantastic job of keeping the guys going with his own energy, which is his responsibility, to keep guys engaged.
“And then when [the] time roles around, hopefully the other guys will get charged up and ready to go and role into the playoffs,” Bryant said. “The most important thing is being ready when the time is right. You’ve got to make sure you have everybody healthy and make sure your competitive spirit is ready to go when the playoffs come around. That’s really the most important time.”
The starting lineups for the All-Star Game were announced Thursday night and, as expected, James and Wade will start for the East. James received the most votes of any player (1,416,419) for this his 10th appearance (all starts). Wade led all East guards in fan votes (929,542).
This will be Wade’s 10th All-Star appearance and ninth in a row as a starting guard.
James said he appreciated being voted in but added “it’s also a fine line for me with this being my 11th year. This is 10 straight for me where you wish you could get a couple days off here and there, but it is what it is, and I’ll be happy to be there.”
Wade did not speak before the game.
Like Wade, Chris Bosh was left off of USA Basketball’s 28-player pool for 2014-16.
“I got kids,” Bosh said. “I’ve been talking to my kids. They’re a selfish little bunch. They’re glad to get their dad back in the summertime. I had a fantastic time with that.”
Bosh skipped the 2012 London Olympics because of a lingering injury.