Dwyane Wade looks at it as fine-tuning before the postseason begins.

He could have easily sat the remainder of the regular season to heal the sore knee that has hampered him the past several weeks. Instead, he chose to return Friday against the Boston Celtics so he could get back into rhythm before the Miami Heat start their playoff run.

"I'm just excited to play basketball," Wade said. "It's time that I get back on the court. My knee is getting better. Talking to the doctors, it can't get any worse. … I kind of want to get back out there to get a rhythm a little bit and just play."

Wade has been bothered with the knee issue since the March 6 game against Orlando. He then aggravated it when he was hit on the knee against the Celtics 12 days later, resulting in a bruise. Wade missed eight of the past 10 games, including the past six.

"The biggest thing is your lungs," Wade said. "You need your lungs more so than anything. When it comes to the basketball aspect of it, it doesn't take that long. … It's just more so getting your legs and your lungs back under you."

Wade is likely to play reduced minutes Sunday against the Chicago Bulls before shutting it down for the remainder of the regular season. The Heat close with games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic. He said the decision to rest should have him close to 100 percent entering the postseason, which wasn't the case last year. He played through knee pain during the playoffs, which eventually led to offseason surgery.

"When I decided to try to take time to get my knee right, coach [Erik Spoelstra] was all for it," Wade said. "If I was going to keep playing, he was going to let me keep playing. He's supportive from that standpoint."