The Miami Heat have been hamstrung by injury issues this season as they bid to kick on in the post-LeBron James era and it just got worse for the South Florida franchise - ironically due to a hamstring injury to one of their key men.
Can't catch a break
Heat-lifer Dwayne Wade is set to be out for an "extended period" of time after reports revealed the hamstring injury he suffered in Miami's recent defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks is worse than first feared.
The update comes courtesy of Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinal who cites initial examinations undertaken by the Miami Heat medical team.
Wade limped out of the game vs the Bucks and missed the entire second half. The initial diagnosis was a strained right hamstring and the injury is set to see the veteran miss a string of games for the second time this season.
Wade missed two weeks of action back in November as he nursed his left hamstring and Winderman believes a similar timeframe will be required before the point guard is ready to return to the court.
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Missing key period
With the Heat's grasp on an Eastern Conference playoff berth far from secure, Wade's absence could see him miss tough games against the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers - not to mention the Celtics and Pistons who are in with a shot at catching the Heat who stand in 7th spot in the East.
The other remaining member of Miami's 'Big Three', Chris Bosh, lamented the Heat's injury woes that have left the team incapable of finding consistency this season.
"“If you just look at everything, the physical is obviously matching the mental,” Bosh said after the Bucks game.
“Whether that's our fault or not, I can't say. I don't know what it is, man. I mean, guys are going down. I seen [Wade] walk off early in the second half and I'm like, ‘Ah, next possession.'"
Out of luck
Eric Spoelstra may be coming under fire from some disgruntled Miami fans as they get used to a 20-25 record but with Wade and Bosh both having missed a number of games this season, and injuries to other key figures such as Liol Deng and Chris Anderson the franchise certainly haven't had luck on their side as they bid to remain at the top table of the NBA.
As for Wade, with knee injuries now being complimented by hamstring complains it looks like father time is fast catching up on another of his generation's top names.
What do you think Heat fans? Can the team still make the playoffs despite all of the injury issues? Is time finally starting to catch up with Dwyane Wade? Let us know in the comments section below...