Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade's knee injury came into closer focus Monday night when he had to be re-taped after leaving the court during the second quarter of Miami's win over the Chicago Bulls.
On Miami's bench, Heat trainer Jay Sabol used a bandage to stabilize his right kneecap, using a technique Wade explained after the game. "When you have a bruise, you try to move the kneecap over so it won't rub," Wade told the Miami Herald Tuesday.
Wade has struggled during the Bulls series, averaging 11.3 points per game through four games, but the Heat have outscored the Bulls by 49 points while he is on the floor. Only Shane Battier has a better plus/minus during the series.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was purposefully vague when discussing the chances that Wade could sit during Wednesday's Game 5 in Miami.
"It's much different than last year," Spoelstra said of Wade's injury. During the 2012 playoffs, Wade was dealing with a left knee injury that needed to be drained during the playoffs and required surgery after the season.
"Structurally, his knee is in a good place." On his status for Game 5, Spoelstra said, "We'll re-evaluate today and re-evaluate tomorrow and go from there." Wade sat out Game 4 of Miami's first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, when the Heat finished off a four-game sweep.
He also defended Wade's performance in the Bulls series, saying, "Everyone is losing absolute focus on his contribution to this series."
"His minutes have been arguably the most positive of all the minutes. Everything just got lost in translation and taken out of context."
If the Heat win on Wednesday, they would give themselves a long layoff before the Eastern Conference Finals, which will start on either May 20 or 22.