OAKLAND, Calif. – From Manu Ginobili to Zach Randolph to Stephen Curry to Brook Lopez to Eric Gordon to Jason Kidd, the list of injured NBA stars has seemingly grown by the day. Dwyane Wade just returned from his own three-game absence, but even he can't guarantee how long he'll be back. The league's compressed schedule – 66 games packed into 124 days – has already taken its toll on Wade and many other players.
"I'm not surprised," Wade said. "You kind of saw it in football. Your body is used to something, and when it gets taken away in a short period of time through training camp and this shortened schedule, guys bodies are going to break down.
"It's just about if you can recover from it."
Wade has been dealing with an injury to his left foot that likely will continue to trouble him for the foreseeable future. He thinks it might be plantar fasciitis, a common basketball injury that can cause discomfort in the foot for weeks, even months. Mindful that his Miami Heat have championship aspirations that could see them playing into late June, Wade said he's not certain to play on the second night of some back-to-backs, including Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Wade missed three games with the injury before playing in Tuesday's loss to the Golden State Warriors after feeling better during a pregame workout. He didn't look limited against the Warriors, scoring a season-high 34 points – 16 more than what he was averaging before the game. But he also played 37 minutes in the overtime game, more than what Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would have preferred.
"I just tried to be aggressive early," Wade said. "That's the only way you'll know how you're feeling."
Wade will continue to receive treatment on his foot, knowing this season's schedule won't afford him much time to rest. He's hopeful of playing against the Clippers, but Spoelstra wants to see how his star guard is feeling before the game. The Heat have too many bigger battles to face this season to risk his health on one game.
"I understand this year is different," Wade said. "Our bodies are going to go through a lot. There is not a lot of time to recover so I try to be smart."
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