Chicago Bulls guard and key player Dwyane Wade recently incurred injuries, forcing him to stay out for the rest of regular season. The NBA superstar is expected to take a break, posing challenges to his team and fellow star player, Jimmy Butler.
On Wednesday, Memphis Grizzlies dominated Chicago Bulls in a game that ended with the scores 103-91. According to ESPN, in the game’s fourth quarter, Wade got his arm twisted during a play between Memphis Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph and two of his teammates.
Initially, the injury was diagnosed as a “hyperextension” but later clarified as a small fracture and a sprain in his right elbow based on MRI results.
Dwyane described the injury as “not a good scenario.” Apparently, the 35-year-old NBA All-Star MVP heard a popping sound and thought it was just a mere dislocation. Wade also recalled how “it went back in.”
“It wasn’t the worst-case scenario. Not a good scenario. But kind of what I thought. I told them that I heard a ‘pop, pop,’ and I kind of said that [Wednesday night], and it was pretty much a dislocation at the time, and it went back in, so kind of dealing with the aftermath of what that looks like. This is what it looks like.”
Wade, who sported an elbow cast, spoke to reporters and explained the extent of his injuries.
“I mean, it was a fractured bone and some ligament damage,” Dwyane said. “Technical terms would be a sprain or whatever, but things like that…. But the good thing about it is it did go back in. Obviously it’s a big injury in baseball when it comes to baseball and pitchers — the Tommy John word that everyone in baseball and pitchers are afraid of — so it was big in that way, but I was lucky that it went back in, and now the biggest thing is about protecting it, making sure it heals the right way, so I can get back to my football passes on the basketball court.”
Dwyane, who already missed 11 games in NBA’s current season, is expected to skip 14 more due to the said injuries. The former Miami Heat star also revealed that he is set to do rehab for him to recover quickly. Wade expressed his eagerness to play for the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs if he is cleared by the doctors.
“I’ll probably have to wear this [cast] for two weeks, but I have to take it off to do my rehab and stuff. Doc really wants me to make sure that it heals right, so I think this [cast] will be about a two-weeker, but I go back in a week, get another X-ray, see how everything is healing and go from there.”
Meanwhile, Chicago Bulls faces challenges in the upcoming games now that their key player is out for the rest of the season. Dwyane’s unexpected accident in the hardcourt will definitely affect Bulls’ performance. Fred Hoiberg, Chicago Bulls’ head coach, admitted that the “team’s dynamic will change without Wade.”
With Dwyane out, all eyes are now on another star player, Jimmy Butler. The 27-year old All-Star swingman already has a good reputation of bringing victory to Chicago Bulls. However, Butler knows that the absence of Dwyane will most likely bring a more difficult challenge for him, particularly the number of defenders other teams send toward him.
“All the different coverages coming my way. What we’re going to try to do offensively, the schemes we’re going to have to put in defensively, I think a lot of things change. But overall, I think it’s just another thing that’s going to make it a little bit harder for us. I like it. I want everybody to step up and take the weight that he had, apply it to theirs.”
Jimmy also revealed that the throughout Dwyane’s stay in Chicago Bulls, they were able to build a good relationship. He also added that despite Wade’s injury, he still manages to help him and the team by telling him what he needs to do in the game.
“I’ve probably got a text message in my phone right now [from him],” Butler said. “We talk a lot. I had something like the same injury, so I can feel for him. But other than that, he’s telling me what I’m going to have to do, the way I got to go about the game now. That’s what he’s been doing for me all year long anyways.”
“Somebody’s going to have to step up and fill that void; it’s not just Jimmy,” Hoiberg said. “It’s got to be a total team effort. It’s got to be a collective effort by our guys. And hopefully, somebody will step up and give us good minutes.”
So far, Dwyane Wade focuses on getting better. The NBA star is set to return to the court at the end of this year or early next year, depending on his progress.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s not the way I would have written it, but it is what it is. I’ll just move past it, I’ll get better. No surgery. That’s one thing that I’m happy about. And I’ll just rehab it, get back on the court hopefully at the end of this year or [to start] next year,” Dwyane stated.
[Featured Image by David Zalubowski/AP Images]