With health issues popping up from his head to his feet, Dwyane Wade's status for Sunday's All-Star Game is now up in the air.
Wade has missed each of the Miami Heat's last two games, but the strange ailment that kept him out of Miami's 111-110 win over the Golden State Warriors Wednesday could be what keeps him off the floor over the weekend.
He was expected to return to Miami's lineup after missing Tuesday's 103-97 win over the Phoenix Suns with a migraine.
However, his pregame warm-ups were disrupted by a problem in his left foot, which the team trainers dubbed "foot drop," explaining it as "a weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot," per The Associated Press (via NBA.com).
"I started feeling a little something in my foot, getting a little numbness," Wade told the media. "But you don't think nothing of it. As time went on it started going up my leg a little bit, so the nerve going up my leg kind of shut down. Weirdest thing I've ever (felt). When I was out there and moved around and warmed up, I felt I couldn't feel my foot. So I didn't want to do anything."
The Heat made do without him Wednesday, thanks in large part to LeBron James' near-triple-double: 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. Wade isn't ready to say the East will have to do the same on Sunday but admits he isn't sure what his body will allow.
"We will see," he said, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. "I'm not optimistic. I'm not pessimistic. I just want to get better."
He's still planning on flying to New Orleans, where Spears reports he'll continue getting treatment from the team trainer.
The door remains open for him to play in the world's greatest pickup game, but you'd have to think he'd err on the side of caution with the playoffs looming just around the corner:
Wade says the nerve in his leg shut down. Didn't want to force it.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) February 13, 2014
Wade doesn't rule out playing Sunday.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) February 13, 2014
If Wade's a medical scratch, his spot will need to be filled both on the East's roster and in coach Frank Vogel's starting lineup.
If Wade can't play Sunday, who should take his roster spot?
If his roster spot is up for grabs, commissioner Adam Silver won't have a shortage of replacement options.
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (16.7 points, 7.6 assists), Indiana Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson (14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists) and Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson (20.1 points, 10.5 rebounds) have all made compelling cases for All-Star honors.
So, too, has Wade (18.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists). That's why fans elected him to his 10th career All-Star Game, ninth as a starter.
The 32-year-old would undoubtedly love to thank those fans by suiting up Sunday, but it might not be his call to make. As has been the case throughout the season, his status hangs at the mercy of his health.