NEW YORK — Dwyane Wade has returned to the starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls after an elbow injury that had been expected to end his regular season.

Wade was in the starting lineup Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, his first appearance since sustaining a sprain and small fracture to his right elbow on March 15 against Memphis. The Bulls announced when the veteran guard was injured that he would be sidelined for the remainder of the regular season.

Instead he was back to help Chicago chase a playoff berth. The Bulls entered play Saturday tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Wade is averaging 18.6 points in his first season since leaving the Miami Heat for his hometown team.