Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/19/12
MIAMI Dwyane Wade is a 10-year veteran who turned 30 earlier this year. He just wrote a book about the responsibilities of parenthood. But Wade said he still makes mistakes. The Miami Heat guard said he made the wrong decision when he pushed to play last Wednesday at the Los Angeles Clippers after having suffered a left foot sprain two days earlier at Houston. He aggravated the injury against the Clippers, and missed the next two games. Its a big game you want to play, you want to be in it, Wade said after practice Monday about the 107-100 loss in the nationally televised game. I didnt do myself any justice playing in the game. So I could have used the extra rest So you look back and say, Ah, I maybe should have done that. But you make mistakes and you move on from them. Had he not played against the Clippers, Wade believes he still would have missed last Thursdays game at Denver but might have been able to come back Saturday at Phoenix. But the Heat were able to win both games, making their record in games the past two seasons without Wade a much-strange 17-3. Wade also believes not playing against the Clippers would have made him fully ready to go Wednesday against Milwaukee at AmericanAirlines Arena. As it is, hes still eying a return that night. I hope so, Wade said after going through Mondays entire practice, the Heats first workout in Miami since returning early Sunday morning from a six-game trip. Im progressing. I would love to play Wednesday. Yes, one gets the point Wade loves to play. But he's still learning he must be cautious about not overdoing it. Im 10 years in, Wade said. Ive seen it all, and sometimes Ive made the right decisions and sometimes I havent. As for another Heat 10-year man, LeBron James also hates to sit out. He sure didnt miss Saturdays 97-89 at Phoenix despite flu-like symptoms he said made him feel just 50 to 60 percent of capacity. James went to the locker room sick in the first quarter but came back to finish with 21 points and seven rebounds. That put a cap on James being named Monday the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second straight time. The day also saw him going through Miamis full practice and feeling much improved. I feel better than I did two days ago, James said. I feel better than I did (Sunday) (The flu was) just going around. D-Wade had it a little bit. Some people on the team had it. Its just been going around. But Im glad its passed. Whats also passed for a while are many road games for the Heat. They play 10 of their next 11 and 12 of their next 14 games at home. They dont have a multi-game trip until after Christmas. With James working to fully regain his strength, Wade also battling knee and finger problems and point guard Mario Chalmers having played against the Suns two days after suffering a strained right triceps at Denver, its an ideal time for the Heat (8-3) to get healthy and to get in some practice time. Were going to take advantage of this opportunity for us to get better in our practice, get better in our games, but also also take advantage of the dates we dont have games and get back healthy, James said. We have a lot of guys that are banged up right now but the schedule is working out for us fine. The Heat have just two games this week and two next week. All are at home. With the extra practice time, theres no doubt what Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is emphasizing. On a 4-2 trip, the defense slipped considerably, with the Heat giving up 107 points per night during one three-game stretch. At least they gave up an average of just 90.5 in the final two games. Theres been talk about whether Miamis defensive woes have anything to do with a team relaxing at times a year after winning the championship. But Spoelstra doesnt believe that to be the case. Thats the easy thing for people to deduce, but its not necessarily the case, Spoelstra said. Were still working through some things. Different pace. The rotation is slightly different. Just things that you typically encounter at the beginning of the year. Our guys understand how important (defense) is. Wade is important as well, but once again hes been in and out of Miamis lineup. Wade missed 17 of 66 games last season and this season already has sat out three. Wade was slowed in the preseason while recovering from left knee surgery in July, but says the knee is fine now. He also said a jammed right thumb suffered early in the trip isnt a major concern. As for the foot, Wade will have a better idea how its progressing after he goes though another practice Tuesday. Wade wants to play against the Bucks, but you get the sense he wont risk it this time if theres any doubt. Its not ideal, but you figure out to deal with it, Wade said of being in and out of the lineup. Ten years into his career, Wade is still figuring out how to deal with injuries. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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