Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 7/12/12
Injury-riddled Greg Oden could be returning to the NBA this season. Thats the word from Odens agent, Mike Conley, who got a call earlier this week from Oden. He said his client has changed his tune from wanting to take this season off. (Oden) called me, and he was kind of excited, Conley said Thursday in a phone interview with FOX Sports Florida. I think hes motivated . He wants to play. He had said he wanted to take this season off, but hes backed off from that . Hes open to playing this season. I think he will play this season. Oden, the star-crossed center who was taken No. 1 in the 2007 NBA draft by Portland ahead of No. 2 Kevin Durant, hasnt played in an NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009. Out of 394 possible games in his NBA career, hes missed 312. Oden has had five surgeries on both his knees since entering the NBA, including two surgeries last February, one being his third microfracture procedure. He was waived by the Trail Blazers last March, making him a free agent. Oden was quoted in a Grantland article last May about his plan to take the entire 2012-13 season off. But Oden told Conley this week about the change in his thinking. Hes starting to work out, Conley said of Oden, who was recently cleared for workouts, feeling better about his situation. Hes excited. You can tell hes getting antsy. At the end of the day, I want him to finish out his NBA career. Hes still pretty young (24). Conley, who said the former Ohio State star is committed to regular workouts this summer in Columbus, Ohio, said theres still no timetable as to what point next season he believes Oden will be able to play. He said seven NBA teams, which he declined to name, have been keeping in regular touch with him, but Conley doesnt anticipate it will be until the fall before there are any serious negotiations. We want to get to the point where hes more healthy and can show teams what he can do (in workouts), Conley said. Theres still no timetable, and thats the beauty of him being on his own. He doesnt have to give anybody a timetable.'' Conley said he has not heard from the Miami Heat at all since Oden was waived. But he said Oden has interest in the Heat if they ever were to be interested. Obviously, if the Heat wanted him, who wouldnt want to play for the Heat? Conley said of the defending champions. That goes without saying. They have roster spots and a need (at center). But its too early to say about where he might play. Conley said Oden splits his time between his hometown of Indianapolis and Columbus. Conley said hes now taking summer classes at Ohio State, which he led to the NCAA title game in his only season there of 2006-07. Obviously, Oden has had plenty of down moments due to all his injuries. But Conley said Oden never has talked about the possibility of retiring. For now, Conley said Oden is as excited as hes been in a long time. He pointed out it was Oden who called him unsolicited to express a willingness to play this season. Hes going to sign somewhere, Conley said. Hes going to get healthy and be coming back. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@christomasson or on Twitter @christomasson
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Isaiah Thomas led charge against Kevin Love

Baker Mayfield addresses Johnny Manziel comparisons

2018 NBA All-Star Game reserves announced

Report: Rob Gronkowski in good spirits, Patriots optimistic he'll play in Super Bowl LII

Astros' Jon Singleton receives 100-game suspension

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jalen Rose: ‘Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio’

WWE fires Enzo Amore in wake of rape accusation

NFL wants Raiders to sign Kaepernick after Rooney ruling?

Jay Feely: Gisele tried to get me to convince Tom Brady to retire

Raiders to make a run at Le’Veon Bell if he becomes free agent?

Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett is not on the hot seat

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

Nine reasons why the Eagles will beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII

The surprising failure of Jason Kidd

How things have changed since last Eagles-Pats Super Bowl

The Chicago Bulls' future is on the clock

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

The 'More things change...' quiz

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

Oldest players to ever be on Super Bowl rosters

The 'More things change...' quiz

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Players with the most Super Bowl appearances

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker