If you’re buying tickets in anticipation of seeing Dwyane Wade during the Miami Heat’s five-game homestand, then, you, too, apparently will be faced with game-time decisions.
Despite sustaining what appeared to be a nasty sprained right ankle Friday against the Denver Nuggets, and despite Wade having yet to return to practice, coach Erik Spoelstra refused to put a timetable on his star guard’s return.
Asked at Monday’s practice if Wade has been ruled out of Tuesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Spoelstra said, “Every day, I’ll reevaluate and we’ll go from there. There is no timetable on his injury right now.
“We’re not going to get into specifics and try to lay down a timetable. There is no timetable of when he’ll be back.”
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Wade missed three games with a bruised left foot before returning for the past three. During that return, he sustained a strained calf against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Against that backdrop, it would seem apparent that Wade not only would be out Tuesday, but also several additional games.
“I’m not trying to be coy,” Spoelstra said. “We are going to reevaluate him every day. I don’t have another answer for you and that’s how we’re taking it. We’re going to be very judicious as we move forward, but we do not have a timetable to his return.”
That had Shane Battier and James Jones taking Wade’s rotations at shooting guard with the starters Monday, as Wade worked on his conditioning on the side, unavailable to the media afterward.
“I used J.J. and Shane in that position and we’ll just have to see,” Spoelstra said. “That might depend on the matchup.”
Teammates clearly are not expecting a rapid return.
“It is tough not having Dwyane,” power forward Chris Bosh said, “but the show goes on.”
With Wade seemingly out, the Heat will have the option of going with swingman Mike Miller, who underwent hernia surgery a week prior to training camp.
“He’s making progress,” Spoelstra said. “He’s had three full practices. I don’t know what that means for his timetable, but it is encouraging and he definitely is taking a positive step forward.”
Starting Miller, however, does not appear to be an option.
“I have to play him probably in short bursts, if he were to play, because of the conditioning and all that,” Spoelstra said.
Miller said he appreciates such an approach.
“I doubt it’s going to be long stretches, anyway, so I can give them what they ask me,” he said.
Miller initially found it difficult working in such limited minutes last season, when he returned from preseason thumb surgery.
“Obviously, it’s the same thing I went through last year, and then when you get back in you play spot minutes,” he said. “It’s hard to get into any kind of rhythm. When you get consistent minutes, go out there and make the most of ‘em.”
LeBron James said Miller arrives when needed.
“It’s perfect timing,” he said. “You never want an injury to happen to any one of our players, but we’re glad we’re getting one back. He had a great practice today. He had a great workout yesterday, and I know he’s looking forward to it.”
Wade, Bosh and James made the list of 20 finalists for the 12 spots on this summer’s Olympic team, announced Monday by USA Basketball.
Having already won gold in the 2008 Beijing Games, James said making this latest cut nonetheless is meaningful.
“To be on that list, I’m honored again, to be able to represent my country at the highest level,” he said. “I mean, it’s an unbelievable class. We’ve got an unbelievable group coming in and I’m looking forward to it.”
Among those the Heat’s Big Three could find themselves surrounded by are Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose.
“The ’08 team was really, really good. I’m not going to take nothing away from our team that won gold,” James said. “But this team has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best, so we’ll see.”
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