MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade says he's scared of needles. Once
again, though, they're helping him get ready for the playoffs.
Bothered by knee tendinitis, the Miami Heat guard is utilizing
acupuncture therapy to help relieve the pain. Wade missed 23 games
with a dislocated left shoulder before returning last week, but as
the postseason looms, it's the knee -- not the shoulder -- that's
causing him the most angst.
"You just try to find a way to feel a little better," Wade
said Monday before the Heat hosted the Boston Celtics. "Find a
way. We get the best of help from all the best doctors around the
world, so you try to find someone to help you. Right now I'm doing
that and I feel a little better."
Wade, the reigning NBA Finals MVP who entered Monday averaging
27.8 points, fourth in the league, has taken a number of
painkilling injections during the previous two postseasons for a
variety of ailments, including rib and leg injuries.
Acupuncture is a centuries-old practice of poking tiny needles
into the skin to treat a variety of ailments, including seizures,
skin conditions, arthritis, chronic pain and sinus infections. A
number of NBA players have tried it in recent years, including New
Jersey guard Jason Kidd, Los Angeles Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic and even Wade's teammate Shaquille O'Neal -- who said he
utilized it during the 2001 playoffs, when he was with the Lakers.
And this isn't Wade's first foray with the treatment, either. He
used it on his shoulder during his college years, when he was on a
summertime European tour with a team coached by Bill Van Gundy.
"You can't do it every day," Wade said. "But I do it like
every other day. It helps."
Since Wade returned to the Heat lineup on April 8, he hasn't
complained of any issues with the shoulder.
But the knee has been tender; he grimaced last week after
jumping for a dunk, has been undergoing other forms of treatment
besides acupuncture and had a large ice pack strapped to the joint
after Miami practiced Monday morning.
"It's getting better," Wade said. "That's the only thing I
can ask for, that each day it doesn't get any worse. As long as it
doesn't get any worse, I'm not going to complain."