Dwyane Wade puts off shoulder surgery

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade announced Monday he will delay surgery on his dislocated left shoulder and will try to rehab the injury in time for the playoffs.

Dwyane Wade wants to play again this season, but he isn't making any promises.

The star Miami Heat guard announced Monday he will delay surgery on his dislocated left shoulder, electing to rehabilitate the injury with the goal of returning for the playoffs.

Wade, who was injured Feb. 21 in Houston, underwent a battery of tests and obtained a second opinion from renowned specialist Dr. James Andrews before making the call to put off surgery.

"My decision for the next two to three weeks is to rehab with the possibility of coming back, but with no guarantees," said Wade, who is among the NBA's scoring leaders. "I'll find out after therapy and rehab how my body responds to things."

The announcement gives a boost to the playoff hopes of the defending NBA champion Heat, which stands seventh in the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-29 heading into Monday's game against Atlanta.

Painful loss

Miami, which has also had to deal with significant injuries this season to centre Shaquille O'Neal and guard Jason Williams, is 3-2 since Wade went down.

WadetopsMiami this season in points (28.8), assists (7.9) and steals (2.09). Last year he led the Heat to the first championship in franchise history, averaging 34.7 points against the Dallas Mavericks to capture Finals MVP honours.

Wade washurt during the fourth quarter of the Heat's 112-102 loss to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 21.

The six-foot-four guard, who had scored 27 points, was playing defence when his left arm collided with Houston's Shane Battier and was awkwardly stretched back.

Wadewalked off the court grimacing in pain, hunched over and clutching his arm. He briefly sat on the bench, tears of pain on his face, as he was examined. He was then wheeled away and taken to hospital in an ambulance.

With files from the Associated Press