Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: October 3, 9:04 AM ET
Dwyane Wade back on court
By Michael Wallace
MIAMI -- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade said Tuesday he expects to play in a few preseason games if his recovery from offseason knee surgery continues to progress as smoothly as it has during the early stages of training camp.
Wade underwent surgery on July 9 to repair damage to his troublesome left knee. He played through the injury during the Heat's playoff run last season to the NBA title. Wade, who has had two surgeries on the knee, had it drained at least once during the final weeks of the playoffs.
Tuesday marked the second consecutive day Wade went through the Heat's full training camp practice. Coach Erik Spoelstra said he was surprised to see Wade respond as well as he did on the court coming off Monday's practice.
The Heat open the preseason on Sunday, although Wade is not expected to play in that game in Atlanta. Miami then travels to China for two exhibition games next week before returning for its final five preseason games leading into the Oct. 30 regular-season opener against Boston.
"I will try a preseason game," Wade said Tuesday. "At least one. But it will be more than one. It won't be (all) eight. But it will be more than one. If I keep progressing the way I'm progressing, I will try a few."
Wade said he hasn't experienced any swelling in the knee over the past couple of days of training camp. The Heat's plan was to work Wade gradually into extensive work while giving him time off during certain workouts.
The Heat will hold a public scrimmage at AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday, when fans will get their first chance to see the defending champions in action since they defeated Oklahoma City in Game 5 of the Finals.
Earlier this week, Wade only took part in the Heat's initial warm-ups before sitting out of the rest of practice. When he's not working on the court with the team, Wade has been spending time working through conditioning sessions and the final stages of his rehabilitation program.
Coming into training camp, Wade suggested he was working on a timeframe that would have him ready for the season opener against Boston, but seemed less optimistic about participating in Miami's preseason games.
"I understand coming off of surgery, no one really knows how you're going to respond to things," Wade said of his decision to push through two workouts in as many days. "I just go out and do what my body tells me to do. And today, my body told me go through it again."
Wade wouldn't completely rule out trying to play in one of the Heat's two games against the Los Angeles Clippers in China next week. There could also be a business incentive, with the 10-year veteran expected to soon consummate a new shoe endorsement deal with a China-based company.
Wade would not comment on any potential new deal, but confirmed Tuesday his nine-year endorsement agreement with Converse and Nike's Jordan Brand has ended.
"I did mutually part ways with the Jordan and Converse umbrella," Wade said. "We had a great nine years, but we did mutually part ways."
Three years ago, Michael Jordan came to Miami to do a high-end promotional launch with Wade in South Beach. When Converse was acquired by Nike, Wade said it was a dream come true to work for his basketball idol.
"We went our separate ways," Wade said. "I still feel honored to have represented my favorite player of all time and his brand, and the opportunity I was given. But not disappointed at all."