- Michael Wallace, ESPN Staff Writer
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MIAMI -- Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade said Monday he regrets his decision to play in last week's game against the Los Angeles Clippers after he initially hurt his sore left foot two nights earlier in Houston.
Wade is still dealing with a foot bruise that has kept him out of Miami's past two games and currently leaves him questionable for Wednesday's game against Milwaukee.
The Heat resumed practice Monday after arriving home early Sunday morning from a six-game trip that ended with Saturday's victory in Phoenix. Wade was able to do some work in practice and spent additional time on the sideline of the Heat's practice facility working with a team trainer.
"I didn't do myself any justice playing in that (Clippers) game," Wade said Monday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. "I could have used the extra rest, and maybe I could have been back by the Phoenix game on the road, or I really could be ready going into the game Wednesday."
Wade sustained the foot bruise when he landed on teammate Chris Bosh's foot during last Monday's game against the Rockets. He returned to finish the game but underwent an X-ray two days later in Los Angeles about an hour before the game against the Clippers.
Test results were negative, and Wade decided to play through the discomfort. He missed 8 of 10 shots, scored a season-low six points and had five turnovers in 29 minutes. Looking back on that decision on Monday, Wade said he would have skipped that game to rest the foot. Asked by ESPN.com if he should have played against the Clippers, Wade responded flatly: "Nope."
"It was just a big game and you want to play," said Wade, who aggravated the injury when he attempted to split a screen and drive to the basket. "You look back and say to yourself, 'Uh, maybe I shouldn't have done that.' But you make your mistakes and you learn from them."
It was an especially painful trip for Wade, who missed the first game on the 10-day trek in Atlanta on Nov. 9 with a flu-like virus. He returned two days later in a loss at Memphis, where he jammed his right thumb chasing a loose ball. Then came the stop in Houston, where he had 19 points and seven assists in the 113-110 victory.
Wade isn't the only Heat player dealing with an injury or illness. LeBron James continues to battle the effects of the flu, a bug he thinks he may have caught from Wade. James considered sitting out of Saturday's game in Phoenix but decided to play after warming up just before the game. He is also dealing with soreness in both knees.
Heat guard Mario Chalmers missed one game on the trip with a strained muscle in his arm but returned on Sunday.
With the Heat set to play 12 of their next 14 games at home, with several days off within that span, coach Erik Spoelstra said there's significant time for rest and recovery. Another goal is to shore up some defensive lapses.
"It's particularly good for Dwyane, who's missed some time, to be able to work on his quick twitch, to work on his conditioning, to work on his game speed reactions," Spoelstra said. "The only way to truly work on that is to get out here and play ... like he did today. He was able to go through the full-contact practice today, and we got after it. So that's a good sign."
James, who was named Eastern Conference player of the week Monday for the second time this season, said he could use some downtime the schedule offers.
"I'm getting better each and every day," James said. "I feel better than I did two days ago, and I feel better than I did yesterday. We're going to take advantage of this opportunity for us to get better in our practice, get better in games, but also take advantage of days we don't have games so we can get back healthy. We have a lot of guys banged up, so the schedule is working out for us finally."
Wade is averaging 16.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.1 rebounds through eight games. He underwent offseason knee surgery but said there are no issues with his recovery from that specific injury. Wade said his competitiveness will always make him more likely to play than sit out.
"You'd like to say you've gotten smarter from it, but I'm 10 years in," Wade said. "Sometimes I make the right decision, sometimes I haven't. Everyone goes through something. You've just got to deal with it. Sometimes you can deal with it and play through it. Sometimes you're hurting yourself even more. You've got to do what's smart."
15hMichael C. Wright
3hMatt Walks, ESPN.com