Wade expects to be ready by opening night

After the Miami Heat captured the 2012 NBA title, guard Dwyane Wade underwent surgery to repair his left knee which had been ailing him for most of the past season. And once the surgery was over, Wade immediately went into rehab to get ready to defend the Heat's crown. But that was then, this is now.

Wade gave an update on his rehab progress and many Heat fans will be happy to know, he is on schedule and is hoping to be in action by opening night versus the Boston Celtics.

"I feel good. Rehab is going very well," Wade told The Associated Press. "I'm happy with it. I'm more encouraged than I was, obviously, when I knew I had to get surgery. So I'm happy."

"But I should be able to go. It just depends on how much they feel like they want me to work. But I should be ready when the season starts."

The last thing the Heat and Wade want to do is rush him back from rehab. A fully-recovered, raring to go Wade with a strong knee is best for any shot at defending their title. And with new additions Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the roster to compliment Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, Miami could be the first team in quite some time to repeat as champions.

Moreover, Miami's depth at shooting guard is suspect. Allen is up in age and can't play heavy minutes, and James Jones is serviceable but not exactly an adequate fill-in for Wade.

Sure, he might have to take his time getting back into game-shape considering he has been recovering from surgery and not doing what is needed for his body to stay ready for the start of the season but make no doubt, without a fully healthy Wade , Miami's chances at bringing in a third title is weakened.