Coach Pat Riley announced Monday that Wade, the All-Star guard and 2006 NBA Finals MVP, will sit out Miami's final 21 games after battling left knee pain throughout the season.
"I thought it would eventually go away," Wade said. "Some days it feels great, and some days it doesn't. I just want to get to the point where it feels great."
The move was expected, although the timing -- with so much of the season still to play -- was mildly surprising.
"I think it's time," Riley said.
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 in Atlanta.
|Dwyane Wade still plans to play for Team USA in the Beijing Olympics in August. (AP)|
As recently as last Thursday, Wade said that even though the knee is sore, he wanted to continue playing.
"I don't want to cut my minutes back," Wade said, when asked why he still wanted to play this season. "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. And whenever that day is, if it comes, I'll just start preparing for the summer and rehabbing. But the day is not today."
The day came four days later.
"I'm just trying to stay positive right now," Heat forward Shawn Marion said. "All you can do, really."
Wade will turn to therapy in hopes of getting his knee back to top form.