Could Dwyane Wade’s return to the bulls be sooner than later?

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BOSTON, MA - MARCH 12: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball against the Boston Celtics during the game on March 12, 2017 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA – When he went down with an elbow injury against the Grizzlies on March 15th and it was announced he had a small fracture the next day, it figured to be the last time Bulls fans would see Dwyane Wade again this year.

Ruled out for the regular season, it seemed at that point that the team wouldn’t qualify for the NBA Playoffs. With a player option for next season, some might have even thought that Dwyane Wade might have played his last game in his hometown.

Not so fast. After a quicker-than-expected recovery, Wade might be back before the season ends for a Bulls team that is in the playoffs at the moment.

On Wednesday, head coach Fred Hoiberg indicated that Wade could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday if his elbow isn’t feeling sore. 

Wade has missed the last ten games with the elbow injury and will miss Thursday’s contest against the Sixers. While he’s been out with the injury, the Bulls have gone 6-4 and have worked their way into seventh-place in the Eastern Conference. With four more games left, the Bulls currently sit tied with the Heat and Pacers at 38-40, but tie-breakers have vaulted them to their current spot.

In his first season in Chicago, Wade is averaging 18.6 points per game with 4.5 assists per contest. He’s missed 21 total games this season, with the Bulls going 10-11 in those contests. The team is 28-29 with Wade in the lineup.