Without Hawes on the floor, the Sixers offense has struggled. He is skilled as a high-post passer, and the Sixers do a lot of dribble handoffs and cut off of him. He has also had better success than ever with his jumper.
Hawes and coach Doug Collins wanted to make sure the center was completely healthy before he came back.
"Now that I know, hopefully I can't do anything else to make it worse," said Hawes.
He realized he would be able to play after running on his toes before Friday's Miami game and not feeling pain.
Hawes will be a free agent this summer, so he is also playing for a new contract. That had nothing to do with his missing as many games as he did, he said.
"It's really about getting back out there, being healthy and playing and winning," Hawes said. "I'm not looking at that. If we go out and win, the contract stuff will take care of itself."
After he was held scoreless for just the fifth time in his career in the game against the Heat, forward Elton Brand made no mention of the sprained right thumb he suffered in the first half when his thumb got caught in another player's jersey.
The Sixers did not say how long Brand is expected to be out.
Doug Collins said that Brand's low scoring has nothing to do with the team not getting him enough shots. He said Brand has to start knocking down his short jumpers.