MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade plans to return to the Miami Heat lineup on Friday, after missing six straight contests because of right knee soreness.
Wade told The Associated Press that his knee is healthy enough for him to play again and that he expects to play in both Friday’s game against the Boston Celtics and Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls, barring any setbacks.
“I’m feeling good,” Wade said. “The toughest part is mentally more so than physically. I played two weeks with it and eventually I felt it getting a little worse and I said, ‘OK, I’ve got to shut it down.’”
Wade has also dealt with a twisted ankle in the past couple weeks, but the knee was the bigger concern. Doctors eventually found three separate bone bruises that essentially surrounded his kneecap, and Wade said rest and treatment has largely taken care of the problem.
Officially, the Heat are listing Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh as day to day. Wade and James were among the players at the Heat facility Thursday working out and getting treatments. The team was otherwise off and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t expected to discuss the lineup for the Celtics game until the completion of Miami’s shootaround practice Friday morning.
James has been bothered by a right hamstring strain that has had him sidelined in four of Miami’s past six games. Bosh has missed Miami’s last three games, one with a sore knee and two others with flu and cold symptoms.
Regardless of what the Heat end up doing, Friday’s game in Miami will be lacking at least some star power.
The Celtics plan to play without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, both of whom are dealing with left ankle soreness.
Standings-wise, the game means nothing to the Heat, who will finish the regular season with the best record in the NBA and have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.