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As Greg Oden nears return Heat doctors measure his knees daily

Oct 14, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT

Greg Oden AP

On Monday at practice, Greg Oden played in some 5-on-5 drills, reports Ira Winderan of the Sun-Sentinel. It’s the latest in a series of small stems moving him toward a return to the court.

Still, there is no timetable on his return and the Heat are being very cautious.

How cautious? Check out this note from Michael Wallace of ESPN (via Deadspin):

Oden said trainers measure the size of his knees before and after each workout to gauge for any swelling. If the results are acceptable, the training staff clears Oden for the next day — and next phase — of work. Otherwise, his workload is lightened.

So far, he keeps getting cleared every day. According to the ESPN report we could see Oden actually on the court for a few minutes in one of the Heat’s final preseason games.

Even so, he will be used in a limited role during the regular season — the Heat have the talent to win a lot of games with or without Oden. Where they need his size will be in specific matchups — Indiana, Chicago, Detroit — and those are potential playoff matchups as well. That is when the Heat’s low-risk gamble on Oden could really pay off.

After everything, I just want to see him back on the court. I want to see Oden the person — who has worked so hard to come back — get a measure of redemption.

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