Miami hope a fully fit Dwayne Wade will
return next season [AFP] 
NBA All-Star guard Dwyane Wade's season with the Miami Heat has ended due to a recurrent knee injury.

Heat coach Pat Riley announced that Wade, the 2006 NBA finals MVP who has battled left knee pain throughout the season, will not play in Miami's final 21 games this season.

The move was expected, although its timing, with so much of the season still to play, was mildly surprising.

Wade missed Miami's game against the Golden State Warriors on Friday because of knee stiffness, telling Riley at the time that it pained him just to get out of bed.

The next day, Wade looked strong playing against the Atlanta Hawks.

But with all hope of the playoffs gone, the Heat, the NBA's worst team with a record of 11-50, and Wade decided on Monday that the time was right to give the franchise's best player additional time to heal and rest.

Wade, who had surgery on his left knee and left shoulder last May, will have a long summer.

He still intends to be part of the U.S. team that will compete in the Beijing Olympics in August, and the Heat will open training camp about four weeks after the games.

So getting him time to rest and further rehabilitate the knee now, in Miami's eyes, seems paramount.

Wade finishes the season averaging 24.6 points, fifth-best in the NBA.

Source: Agencies