Posted by Sabrina B. @gametimegirl
LeBron James apparently needed some help with his latest decision. Â Before he missed his second consecutive game with a sprained left ankle Saturday, James sought some advice fromÂ Miami Heat teammateÂ Dwyane Wade on whether he should attempt to play.
James has missed the Heat’s past two games, including Saturday’s 99-96 loss to theÂ Chicago Bulls, which ended Miami’s five-game road trip with three consecutive defeats.
James went through an extended workout at the United Center about an hour before Saturday’s game in hopes of returning to the lineup but was held out after he met with the team’s medical staff.
Wade also spoke with James and advised him not to rush back from the injury. James has not played since he sprained the ankle in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s loss to theÂ Los Angeles Clippers.
“He came to me and asked me, ‘What should I do?’ ” Wade said of the conversation he had with James before Saturday’s game. “We’ve got a good enough team to make sure that before you get back on the court that you’re healthy [enough] to be who you are.”
James could return to action as soon as Tuesday against visiting Atlanta, as the Heat (30-12) look to avoid their first four-game losing streak of the season. Miami is also dealing with the potential loss of forwardÂ Chris Bosh, who sprained his left ankle Saturday early in the fourth quarter and did not return.
The Heat did not practice Sunday, although injured players typically receive extensive treatment during off days. James and Bosh are listed as day to day and will be re-evaluated before Tuesday’s game. Miami plays just two games in a span of 11 days after returning from its longest trip of the season.
James, the Heat’s leader in scoring average (25.4 points) and assists per game (7.2), hoped to play against the Bulls. He appeared to move well on the court as he shot jumpers and drove to the basket for layups during his pregame workout. But James then came up short on a dunk attempt as he pushed off his left foot. The 20-minute session ended soon after the missed dunk.
“The last 48 hours, there’s been tremendous progress,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of James. “We’ll see where things go before Tuesday’s game. Get rest and get healthy. That’s what we need most of all.”
If James and Bosh are unable to play Tuesday, it would mean the return to a familiar role for Wade, who was the Heat’s lone catalyst before his two high-profile teammates arrived in free agency last summer. Amid the minor injury concerns, Wade said it’s important to maintain big-picture perspective.
“It’s not the playoffs,” Wade said. “We don’t need guys sucking it up to that extent to where it’s going to hurt them in the long run. We want Chris to get healthy. We want LeBron to get healthy. And if they don’t, we’ll plan around it and move forward.”
Michael Wallace covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com.
Follow Michael Wallace on Twitter:Â @http://twitter.com/WallaceHeatNBA