Wade in Chicago, and Heat still waiting

Dwyane Wade worked out Sunday afternoon. So did his Miami Heat
teammates.

They just weren’t together, and there’s no clear indication yet
when the Heat will be whole again.

While the Heat held an open scrimmage before about 5,000 fans in
Miami, Wade was in Chicago, going through drills with assistant
trainer Rey Jaffet and testing his strained right hamstring. More
of a concern, though, is why Wade’s away from the team: The case
that’ll decide custody of his two sons continues Monday, and no
one’s sure when he’ll be done testifying.

”What he’s dealing with is way bigger than basketball,” Heat
forward LeBron James said. ”So when he’s ready to come back, when
he’s ready to return, we’ll accept him with open arms, of course.
We’ll make sure we hold it down here. What he has going on, we’re
all in support, this whole organization, us as teammates, us as
friends, us as a family.”

The custody case has been going on for weeks, and the battle
with Wade’s now-ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade has been waged for
considerably longer.

On his Twitter feed Sunday, Wade indicated that he would not be
back in time to see Miami host Charlotte in a preseason game Monday
night. His schedule for the rest of the week seems in doubt as
well, although there has been no indication that Wade won’t be
ready – physically or emotionally – for the Oct. 26 regular-season
opener in Boston.

”Hopefully,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, ”if there’s no
setback.”

Wade had hoped of getting in at least one of Miami’s final two
preseason games, in Atlanta on Thursday or against Orlando at
Tampa, Fla., on Friday. His status for those contests would seem,
at best, doubtful.

Wade’s absence didn’t dampen the mood Sunday, an event primarily
for season-ticket holders. Miami has already played two home
preseason games, so plenty of South Florida fans have gotten a
chance to see James, Chris Bosh and the rest of the revamped
roster.

Didn’t matter. A 12-minute scrimmage Sunday was received like a
playoff game.

”It has been electric,” Spoelstra said. ”We want to do our
part, and that’s coming in every single day, working and trying to
build this team. But it’s great to see the support and the fact
that the fans are ready.”

Fans were greeted by Alonzo Mourning, who was cheered at first,
then playfully booed when he said he wasn’t coming out of
retirement. Heat president Pat Riley spoke before the workout as
well, his words often getting drowned out by the reaction of the
crowd.

”We are extremely appreciative of your support and we hope that
you’re going to have one truly exciting year,” Riley said. ”And I
think you will enjoy this whole process.”

What certainly isn’t enjoyable for the Heat to watch is Wade’s
legal process.

Wade originally hoped the custody case would be done before
training camp opened last month, but as with just about everything
involving his divorce and the subsequent legal fallout, delays have
popped up often along the way.

So while he’s trying to get his leg right – Wade was hurt three
minutes into the preseason opener – his family issues are taking
priority, with his team’s blessing.

”You understand that situation, that comes before anything,”
James said. ”Any time you’re dealing with family, that comes
before anything, and whenever he returns, then we’ll be
ready.”

Notes: James showed no ill effects from his right hamstring
cramp issue that popped up last week, and since he went through
practices Saturday and Sunday without problems, he’s expected to be
available for Monday night’s game. … Heat guard Mario Chalmers is
still day-to-day with his sore left ankle, though has been working
out, Spoelstra said. … Without Wade, the Heat had a first team of
James, Carlos Arroyo, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony and Bosh for the
open scrimmage.