"It wasn't the worst-case scenario," Wade said after Thursday's practice. "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's injury occurred during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies when his arm got twisted during a play between Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph and a couple of his teammates. Wade wore an elbow brace/cast as he spoke to reporters.
"I mean, it was a fractured bone and some ligament damage," Wade 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."
Wade came into Wednesday night's game having missed 11 games already this season. He is expected to miss 14 more to bring him to 25. Wade said that if the Bulls make the playoffs, he will play if he is cleared by doctors. The Bulls are currently a game behind the Detroit Pistons for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"I'll probably have to wear this [cast] for two weeks, but I have to take it off to do my rehab and stuff," he said. "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."
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that it was a "tough blow" to lose Wade.
"He walked in a little bit late, he had the test, the MRI, and when he walked in with the arm in a cast, everybody kind of looked over," Hoiberg said. "I don't think everybody knew exactly what happened. It was a little bit of shock on guys' faces when he walked in, seeing the arm in the type of shape that it was. It's just something where these young guys have to take it as an opportunity to step up, obviously when we need it most. It's a very important stretch of our season."
It is unclear which player will take Wade's spot in the starting lineup.
Wade, who signed with the Bulls last summer after 13 years with the Miami Heat, has a player option for next season worth $23.8 million. He said on Thursday it was "too soon" to start thinking about whether or not he has played his last game as a Bull. Wade has acknowledged in recent weeks that a lot of his decision for next year would be based on what the Bulls decide to do with Jimmy Butler heading into next year. For the time being, Wade is just trying to focus on getting better.
"It sucks," Wade said of his injury. "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."