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Dwyane Wade regrets 2002 surgery which he says led to knee problems throughout his NBA career

Oct 3, 2013, 12:21 AM EDT

Dwayne Wade AP

Dwyane Wade is one of the NBA’s all-time greatest to ever play at the shooting guard position, and the knee issues he’s dealt with throughout his career makes that achievement all the more remarkable.

Wade powered through his problems to help the Heat win a second straight title last June, and even had his knee drained prior to Game 7 of the Finals in order to be able to contribute to his team’s championship effort.

It didn’t have to be this way for Wade, however, if you take into consideration his most recent comments. The surgery he had in 2002 while still in college that removed his meniscus negatively impacted the way his knee would perform over the life of his NBA career.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

With hindsight, Dwyane Wade says surgery to remove the meniscus from his left knee 11 years ago while he was at Marquette led to the ongoing knee problems he’s had with the Miami Heat.

“My knee problems and the things I’ve dealt with started from that,” Wade said. “That was [11] years ago and technology was different and the way you approach things was different.

“At that moment, if everyone looked ahead and said, ‘Dwyane’s going to have a 20-year career, maybe we should do something different,’ maybe I wouldn’t have [knee issues]. At that time it was to get me back on the basketball court and do what is best.”

The question of Wade’s knee was raised thanks to the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook needing to undergo an additional procedure that is expected to sideline him for at least the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season.

Wade has achieved plenty in spite of his knee issues. But imagine how much better he could have been if the technology had been a bit more advanced at the time of his first surgery, or if back then those in the medical profession had taken into account his long-term plans to compete athletically at the highest levels possible.

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