Miami Heat: Greg Oden to be cleared for practice next week

Sep 30, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Greg Oden (20) during media day at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When the Miami Heat brought in Greg Oden most expected the team to do exactly what they said they would — bring the injury prone center along slowly and take every possible precaution. With that type of an attitude, most probably expected Oden to see regular season action a month or two into the season, but he could return to the basketball court as soon as late preseason.

Greg Oden is likely to be cleared for full practice work with the Miami Heat next week and could see his first NBA action in four years during one of their final preseason games, sources told ESPN.com on Saturday.

The Heat, who signed Oden to a one-year contract this past summer hoping to salvage his career, have been encouraged by his development in recent days.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra won’t rule out playing Oden in at least one of the team’s five remaining preseason games if the 7-foot center avoids any setbacks or recurring swelling in his knees, which have endured multiple surgeries the past five years.

(via ESPN)

This is undoubtedly great news for the Heat. Oden will finally get to taste some 5-on-5 action in practice next week and if all goes as planned we could see the former No. 1 overall pick on the court sooner than expected.

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