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Wade hopeful he'll play on Thursday

BEIJING — Dwyane Wade hopes to make his preseason debut on Thursday when the Heat plays the Los Angeles Clippers at Beijing’s MasterCard Center.

Wade practiced with the team on Tuesday in Beijing and said his knee has responded well to a gradual return from offseason knee surgery. The Heat will practice on Wednesday before a final decision is made on whether or not Wade is ready to return.

On Tuesday, all signs pointed to him being medically cleared.

Wade bounced around with his teammates after practice, participating in a player-organized shooting contest geared towards building team chemistry. During practice, he ran with the team during offensive drills.

“If it continues to respond the way it is and my trainers give me a go-ahead to play, I would love to get out there and at least play some minutes and get my conditioning,” Wade said. “That’s the biggest thing: to get my legs back and get my conditioning back. Hopefully I can start that journey soon.”

Wade has other motives for playing Thursday besides getting his legs back in shape. On Wednesday, he will hold a press conference in Beijing to introduce his new shoes and his new endorsement contract with Li-Ning.

Wade wore his new Li-Nings during Tuesday’s practice. The sleek black shoes represent the next step for Wade in his career as a pitchman. Wade first represented Converse before signing a three-year deal with Jordan Brand. That contract ended in September.

“I think it’s a new era for myself and the brand and it’s going to be something good, so I look forward to it,” Wade said.


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