Zydrunas Ilgauskas to return to Heat

Updated: March 26, 2011, 3:12 PM ET
By Michael Wallace | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- The Miami Heat are expected to have center Zydrunas Ilgauskas available for Sunday's game against the Houston Rockets after he was cleared to return from a foot infection.

Ilgauskas has missed the past eight games and has not played since the Heat's home victory March 10 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The veteran center was hospitalized for three days after he stepped on a nail in his home.

Ilgauskas returned to practice earlier this week and went through another workout with the team Saturday. He has averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 62 games, including 47 starts.

Erick Dampier replaced Ilgauskas in the starting lineup last month and is likely to remain the starter.

After coping with injuries all season, the Heat appear to be rounding into shape. Miami could have all 15 players make next week's four-game road trip, which would be the first time the entire team has travelld this season.

But forward Udonis Haslem (foot) and guard Mario Chalmers (knee) are likely at least two weeks away from returning to game action.

Michael Wallace covers the NBA for ESPN.com.

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