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Wade to play again Thursday, says he’s ahead of schedule

Dwyane Wade

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade controls the ball during a game against Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA China Games at Wukesong arena in Beijing Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)


Things seem to be going pretty well for Dwyane Wade this preseason.

He had to skip out on winning a gold medal in Beijing to get knee surgery he really needed earlier but played through last spring to get Miami a ring.

But he appears to be all the way back, although he just calls it “ahead of schedule.” He is scheduled to play in his third consecutive preseason game on Thursday. It was all sunshine and lollipops when Wade spoke to ESPN’s Heat Index.

“I feel ahead of schedule,” Wade said. “If I continue to keep progressing, I’m going to try to play as much as possible but try to be smart as well. I want to play Thursday, get back out there and continue to get my legs under me ... so I can be ready for opening night.”

That opening day is less than two weeks away against Boston.

Miami is not rushing it because they have that sense that all championship teams have — it’s not the Oct. 30 game against the Celtics that matters, it is the likely games in late May when they will need a fully healthy Wade. No reason to do anything that makes this linger.

But just watching him play, Wade looks to be back. And a healthy Wade is just one of the reasons this year’s Miami Heat side will be even better than last year’s. Which should scare 29 other teams.