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Sunday, January 26, 2014
Updated: January 27, 12:43 PM ET
Dwyane Wade returns vs. Spurs

By Brian Windhorst

MIAMI -- After missing four games with knee soreness, Dwyane Wade returned to play Sunday in the Heat's 113-101 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

In a surprise, however, Wade wasn't in the Heat's starting lineup.

Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade returned Sunday against the Spurs after missing the past four games with knee soreness. He had 8 points in 24 minutes.

Wade entered the game for the first time with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter Sunday. He finished the game with 8 points on 3 of 8 shooting in 24 minutes of action.

Wade said not starting was his idea, and seemed generally pleased with his first game in nine days.

"I've only had one practice in a while," Wade said. "Team was in a good groove. I wanted to work my way into my rhythm."

Coach Erik Spoelstra said afterward that nothing is set in stone about Wade's status going forward.

"It was just good to have him out there," Spoelstra said.

Wade last came off the bench during the 2007-08 season, also when he was recovering from an injury.

"I didn't expect [to miss four games] but I did what was right and I'm playing now," Wade said. "Hopefully I can get into a rhythm a little bit."

Wade has missed 13 games this season, 12 to deal with sore knees and one because of sickness. He missed 12 games all of last season.

Spoelstra said Sunday was the first time all season that all 15 players on his roster were cleared to play for a game.

Center Greg Oden had been out until two weeks ago while rehabbing his knee and his now healthy along with Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers, who had been out recently.

The Spurs were without three key players, as Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green missed the game with injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.