Dwyane Wade returns to practice; plans to play Game 1

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade had missed a few practice sessions earlier this week as he nursed his injured knee. However, Wade returned to practice yesterday, and told reporters – including Michael Wallace of ESPN – that he plans on playing in Game 1 of the team’s second-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets or Chicago Bulls.

The extended break has allowed Wade to rest his ailing knee. The Heat swept the Milwaukee Bucks – with Wade sitting out the deciding Game 4 – and the Nets and Bulls have taken their series to Game 7, providing the All-Star with the maximum amount of rest between the first and second round.

While it appears all but a sure bet that Wade will be on the court for Game 1, he and coach Erik Spoelstra wouldn’t say for sure that he’ll be back. Both did say that Wade is expected to return for the second-round opener on Monday.

"Right now, I'm taking it day to day, and I'm not going to jump ahead of myself," Wade said Friday. "I'm going to think positive. [Friday] was my first day back on the basketball court. We'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Wade was able to get through all of Friday’s practice, which Spoelstra considered to be a good sign. Wade is slated to work out again today, and if he’s able to make it through another successful session it will be hard to deny his availability for Game 1.

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