Miami Dwyane Wade is considering season-ending surgery to repair his dislocated left shoulder, which would be the biggest loss yet for the Miami Heat during their rocky reign as NBA champions.
The All-Star guard was hurt in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's 112-102 loss at Houston. Wade flew home early Thursday in a private plane and was examined at a hospital by team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick, who conducted a battery of tests.
"Wade is presently weighing his treatment options provided to him by the Heat medical staff," the team said in a statement. "Wade still needs to discuss these options with his family and Heat president and head coach Pat Riley and will then decide what course of action to take."
Riley said he would talk with Wade about the decision in the next couple of days.
"I don't have any anticipation," Riley said Thursday night before an NBA Finals rematch against Dallas. "I wrote him a letter today - FedExed it, because his mailbox was loaded on his phone."
Regardless of Wade's choice of treatment, his injury further weakens the Heat's bid to repeat. They may be hard-pressed merely to make the playoffs.
"We're going to need a couple of days to readjust to this," Riley said.
The injury stung especially hard because it came in the first game in which Wade, Riley and Shaquille O'Neal have been together since mid-November. Plagued by health issues much of the season, the Heat had won seven of eight games to reach .500, their best record since they were 3-3, and appeared ready to surge into the playoffs.
Instead, they went into the Dallas game missing their leading scorer and five games behind Washington in the Southeast Division with 29 to play. At 26-27, Miami had the eighth-best record in the East and was 21â2 games out of ninth place.
The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the postseason.