MIAMI -- Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade talked as if it was no big deal.
On Saturday, he spoke for the first time about his recent four-game absence from the lineup because of knee soreness. At this point, Wade is accustomed to the pain in his troublesome knees.
To him, it's become the norm.
He said there wasn't a setback after playing against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 17, his last appearance.
"At this point, there ain't no setbacks," Wade said after practice.
"It's just what I've been dealing with, what I've been dealing with all year. I don't know where or how much back I can go. So it's the same thing. I realized it ain't called a 'setback.' It's called, 'What I'm dealing with.' Let me change the meaning of that. At that time it was a setback. Now it's not. It's what I deal with."
The fact he returned to practice was a good sign he may play Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs at AmericanAirlines Arena. Coach Erik Spoelstra was encouraged by his Saturday workout.
"He practiced," Spoelstra said. "It was a full scale practice after the day off, pretty much for most of the guys. We were able to get some work in today and that was encouraging."
That was the extent of any update on Wade's condition. He said he began experiencing discomfort before facing the Sixers, meaning he may have tweaked something the previous game against the Washington Wizards.
Despite being in constant contact with the training staff, Wade said they still are unable to pinpoint the cause of the problems. Wade underwent shockwave therapy treatment in the offseason. He was expected to be fully healed after six months.
"I wish I knew," Wade said.
"If I knew that, I would try to take care of it. But I really don't know what sets it off. That's what my trainers try to keep figuring out. I just try to keep doing whatever they tell me to do. If this was the playoffs, I wouldn't have been out. It's simple as that. If we get there, hopefully we won't be dealing with the same thing. And if we are, we'll figure it out. We did last year and we'll continue to do it."
The Heat are just 7-6 in games without Wade after winning 12 of 14 when he was out of the lineup last year. Teammates LeBron James and Chris Bosh have both said Wade's excused absences have made it difficult for chemistry and rhythm.
The positive is Bosh has thrived with Wade sidelined. Bosh scored a team-high 31 points in the victory against the Lakers. He averaged 23.2 points in the four games Wade missed.
"I like them being aggressive both ways, when I am out there and when I'm not," Wade said.
"That's when we're at our best, when guys are aggressive. Those guys take great shots and they hit 50-something percent of them. When a guy is out, you get the opportunity to get more touches, but that doesn't mean you're going to get more shots or more points. But you should always be aggressive."
James said depth has made it easier to cope with Wade being in and out of the lineup. Guard Ray Allen has started mostly in place of Wade.
"It's a luxury to have the group that we have, to be able to rely on other guys when we have some of our big guys out," James said. "With D-Wade being out for a period of time, to be able to have a Hall of Famer backing him up ... it definitely helps us."
Wade was recently voted to his 10th straight NBA All-Star Game. He said he has yet to decide if he will play or take another weeklong break. It would mark the third time he has been inactive for at least five consecutive days.
"I'm mentally strong," Wade said. "Mentally, you never have to worry about me. I deal with that behind closed doors. Obviously it's physical. But it's a big mental part of it. But I continue to keep grinding, keep working, until I can do what my body is asking me to do. It's all I can do."
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