Greg Oden cleared by physical therapist, will join Miami Heat for workouts

Greg Oden has played only 82 games because of injuries since entering the NBA in 2007.
Greg Oden has played only 82 games because of injuries since entering the NBA in 2007.
Colin E Braley / AP

At a news conference Saturday in Indianapolis, Greg Oden’s physical therapist, Ralph Reiff, said the center is “in full basketball mode” now. “There’s no more rehab. He will be a basketball player on Monday.”

Oden, 25, will fly to Miami at 6 a.m. Monday and immediately begin on-court work with the Heat, plus agility drills and more.

“My knee’s good,” he said. “I’m able to walk, jump, run. ... It’s been a while. It’s been a long road. ... I got an old body. My body is not going to be what it was when I was 18. When I was 18, I was able to run all day and jump over people. I can’t do that now. It’s just not going to happen. But I’m going to play as hard as I can and I’m going to try to jump over people and I’m going to try to run all day. If my body lets me, I’ll do it.”

He added: “My body is going to do what it can. If somehow it says no, then it says no. But I’m not even worried about that. I’m just going to go play and not even think about it.... I’m beyond excited. It’s been such a long road.... I know it’s going to be a long process.”

Though he is taking a significant step, his agent said Friday it remains unclear when he will play in a game and it could be months into the season, depending on the decision of the Heat staff. Oden has spoken of playing in short intervals initially whenever he does return but has been non-committal about whether he will play opening night, Oct. 29 against the Bulls.

“It’s still weird for me to say I’m a Miami Heat,” Oden said. “If LeBron [James] decides to get another ring, I get one now, too. Why would I not want to play with the champs?”

He said James texted with “Oden come here” messages before he signed, and a “be ready to work” message after he signed.

Oden said watching NBA TV motivated him to return to the court.

• As expected, Heat second-round pick James Ennis signed to play overseas. His contract with a team in Australia will allow him to join the Heat at any point this season, without penalty, if the Heat chooses. The Heat, which will retain his NBA rights, preferred he develop overseas this season instead of using a roster spot on the former Long Beach State small forward.

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Heat forward-center Udonis Haslem.


    Patience, preparation pay off for Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem, Rashard Lewis

    Udonis Haslem will be back in a familiar spot as an expected starter when the playoffs start. And Rashard Lewis also appears likely to receive playing time.

LeBron James cheers as he holds both trophies after the Heat won Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida on Thursday, June 20, 2013.

    In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Element of doubt makes this Miami Heat quest intriguing

    This time it feels different, doesn’t it? The Heat in the Big3 Era always has found a way to keep things fresh and keep us fascinated, and now that means trying on a role unlike any the team has played in the previous three seasons. This time, for the first time since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade, Miami enters a postseason seeming a bit vulnerable — something close to the unlikeliest of underdogs.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade shoots a free throw before a game against the New York Knicks at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 6, 2014. Wade did not play in the game.

    Heat notebook

    Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade rested, healthy for playoffs

    Dwyane Wade ended up sitting out 28 games this season after missing a combined 36 in the first three seasons with LeBron James as a teammate. But Wade enters these playoffs in a much better place, from a health perspective, than last year, when a knee injury lingered throughout the postseason.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category