For the first time in four years, center Greg Oden returned to practice.
“It felt good just being out there,” Oden told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. “First time in a while, I’m happy I got it completed. They had to pull me off the floor. But I’ve got to take steps.”
Oden’s injury troubles have been well documented.
After spending one season as a highly-touted prospect at Ohio State, Oden was the #1 overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft and looked like a sure thing, at least on the defensive side.
Before the 2007 season began, Oden had to have had microfracture surgery on his right knee and missed his entire rookie season. In his second year, he was in and out of the lineup, but no injury appeared to be severe. He averaged 8.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in 61 games. That gave the Portland Trail Blazers high hopes for Oden’s third season. However, after 21 games, Oden was injured and required surgery for a fractured left patella. In those 21 games, he averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Before the 2010-11 season, it was reported Oden again needed microfacture surgery.
He hasn’t played in a game since December 1, 2009. In that game, a 107-100 loss to the Heat, Oden had 13 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks.
Oden agreed to a deal with the Heat in the offseason.