Wade left Miami's exhibition opener against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night just 3 minutes, 17 seconds into the contest, headed to the locker room and did not return. He watched the game while getting treatment, as new teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh carried the Heat to a 105-89 victory.
"I just felt it pull," Wade said. "I knew automatically it was a pulled hamstring. It was a little sore coming into the game the last couple days of practice and stuff, so I tried to do everything to make it go away. But it happens."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade would be re-evaluated in about a week. Wade suggested it might take as many as two weeks to get completely over the problem.
Either way, there's time: Miami doesn't play a game that counts until visiting Boston on Oct. 26.
"As a team, everyone has to pick it up," James said.
Wade's injury was the darkest spot of the night for the Heat, who had a sellout crowd of 19,600 pack into the arena to see the long-awaited debut of the star trio of Wade, James and Bosh, Olympic teammates who won a gold medal, now Heat teammates looking to hoist the gold NBA championship trophy.
Wade was introduced last, the crowd roared, and did so again when he hit a jumper for his first -- and only -- shot of the night. Wade felt a twinge while guarding Richard Hamilton, and knew immediately the pain wasn't going away quickly.
"It was a preseason game, but the atmosphere was great," Wade said. "There was a lot of excitement about the opportunity to see this team play together, and they only saw me play for three minutes. It's fine. I think Miami's seen me play for a long time and they'll get a lot of time to see the 'Big 3,' as they say, our team play together."
James said he told Wade that if the Heat were going to have an injury, he'd prefer to have it now than later -- and Wade obviously agreed.
Bosh has dealt with hamstring issues before and offered Wade advice.
"You just have to treat it delicately," Bosh said, "and make sure you respect it."
Wade quipped at times in the last couple days that fans should "get there early" for the preseason debut, a suggestion that he didn't plan to play that many minutes.
In no way, Wade insisted, was that said to indicate he anticipated the hamstring to be a serious concern.
"I didn't think they'd really have to get there early to see me play three minutes," Wade said, laughing. "So watch what you say."