The Miami Heat training staff is giving Greg Oden full clearance to engage in full contact practice. What this equates to is that Oden finally playing in a NBA game after four years of being debilitated by knee injuries.
The Heat training staff has to be excited with the progress Oden has made since the start of training camp. What began as light conditioning and non-contact defensive drills have evolved into more physically demanding contact drills and involvement in live scrimmages due to how well Oden has responded.
The Heat training staff is also doing a fantastic job of monitoring Oden’s knees before and after games to judge how the practice truly affects his body. If no swelling ensues and Oden feels good physically, he is given the go ahead by the Heat training staff to engage in practice the following day. Oden has even played in several four-on-four full contact scrimmages this past week, with no swelling occurring after play.
With all the positive progress Oden has made, Erik Spoelstra wouldn’t rule out having Oden play in one of the final preseason games.
The Heat training staff will need to keep a cautious approach in terms of how far they push Oden on the court. Even with all the fantastic progress Oden has made, the three micro-fracture knee surgeries he has had will always be a hindrance on his stamina and how well he performs in the NBA.
Constant supervision on Oden’s physical responses after games is crucial in keeping him healthy.If he can get back to the point of contributing five minutes a quarter, he would add a whole new dimension to the second unit, and the Heat entirely.