Friday , Jun , 03 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Wade misses practice; questionable for Saturday

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade did not practice on
Friday because of the injured rib muscle he sustained in Game 5 of the Eastern
Conference finals on Thursday and is a question mark for Saturday’s Game 6
against the Detroit Pistons.

The Heat lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2, and can earn their first trip to
the NBA Finals with a victory Saturday at the Palace. Game 7, if necessary,
would be on Monday in Miami.

Wade was hurt in the second half of Thursday’s game, but the Heat already had
a big lead and went on to an 88-76 win.

The 22-year-old All-Star apparently suffered the injury on a cross-over
dribble midway through the third quarter. He then exited the contest with 5:08
remaining in the period after taking a charge from Rasheed Wallace.

“I took the charge because I couldn’t move,” said Wade after Thursday’s game.
“Actually I was glad he was coming at me. I wanted to stop play anyway, so I
think it was a good way to go out.”

Wade was examined in the locker room and was fitted for a flak jacket before
returning to the court for the start of the fourth period.

However, after just over two minutes of action in the final quarter, Wade
appeared to still be in pain and motioned to the bench where he was quickly
taken out. Wade was then immediately escorted back to the locker room, where
he was grimacing and holding his side.

“I tried to come back because we have a lot of guys on our team playing
through a lot,” Wade added. “I tried to come back and see if I get out there
and get going that it will feel better, but I couldn’t and I didn’t want to
make it any worse. I had confidence that my team could get this victory, and
they did.”

Wade, who finished Game 5 with 15 points in 27 minutes, did not speak Friday.

In 13 playoff games this season, the second-year pro out of Marquette is
averaging 28 points, 6.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists.

MIA