With Wayne Ellington expected to return tonight vs. Sixers; read what Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says about having full roster

Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington is expected to return tonight after missing four games with a bruised quad. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI – The Heat will be as close to full strength once again tonight against Philadelphia as Wayne Ellington is expected to return.

Now, let’s see if they can maintain that health.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said Ellington went through shootaround today and will warmup before the game with the intention of playing.

Spoelstra had his full complement of players (with the exception of Dion Waiters) nine days ago for the Sixers’ first trip to Miami but lost Ellington and Tyler Johnson in the same game, both suffering left quad bruises. Johnson missed the next two games and Ellington has missed four.

Now, Spoelstra once again will have 14 healthy bodies, 12 who have a legitimate claim to be part of the rotation.

“Hopefully we will have all of our guys back and hopefully I’m making that decision every single night who has to go in a suit,” Spoelstra said. “As painful as those decisions are it means we’re healthy and we have guys available.”

Johnson returned for Monday’s game against Phoenix and after scoring five points in that win, he scored 21 with three rebounds, four assists and three steals in Miami’s overtime loss at Washington on Tuesday.

Ellington is averaging 11.0 points and leads the Heat with 174 3-point shots. He was fifth in the league in made threes at the time of the injury and enters Thursday eighth.

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