Now that Dwyane Wade has played his first official preseason game, the All-Star guard doesn’t plan on missing any more action for the rest of the season. After winning a third title this season with the Miami Heat, Wade decided to receive another session of shock therapy on his injured knees. Since the therapy, Wade has been working vigorously with trainer Tim Grover to help regain the strength and stamina that made him one of the best guards in the league.
“I’m not where I want to be, but I’m better at this point this season than I was last year,” Wade said, referring to the 2012 offseason when he underwent left knee surgery. “I’m not ready for Game 1 (against Chicago). I’ll work my way to get there, and we’ll see how it goes game by game.” (Wallace, ESPN)
Although Wade has been working in a controlled practice environment, and is apparently in the best shape of his career, the Heat organization needs to monitor how hard Wade is pushing himself. Tendinitis is what has plagued Wade’s knees for years. Even with the amount of correct conditioning he is going through, the consistent, heavy playing time could work against him.
Erik Spoelstra believes that there is too much attention being paid to Wade’s knees heading into this season, but I believe there isn’t enough. The Heat’s training staff has taken the same approach with Wade’s conditioning over the last few seasons, and guess what? Wade has limped throughout the playoffs. When Wade’s presence on the floor becomes a non-factor, you know the situation is severe.
It is up to both the Heat training staff and Spoelstra to make sure Wade is as close to 100-percent heading into the playoffs as possible. This will mean bringing Wade’s average playing time way below his career average of 36.9 minutes throughout the regular season. If this can happen, and Wade can preserve his body heading into the playoffs, a third consecutive title will be much more attainable.
Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com.
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