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
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter reacts to parole board member wearing Chiefs tie at OJ Simpson’s hearing

Jourdan Lewis will miss start of camp for domestic abuse trial

Vick 'truly sorry' for comments about Kaepernick

NFL owners pushing for Ezekiel Elliott suspension?

Report: Derrick Rose in ‘serious talks’ to join Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Giants co-owner: Kaepernick is not being blackballed

Report: Lakers wanted to sign D-Wade if Bulls bought him out

Report: Bell has no plans to miss regular season games

OJ Simpson could cash in on signing autographs if paroled

Report: If Rockets land Melo, LeBron could join him in 2018

Le'Veon Bell wants to be paid like 'a No. 1 RB and No. 2 WR'

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Every NFL team’s biggest question as training camps start

Box Score 7/20: Nothing but Nolan

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

Every MLB team's biggest need at the trade deadline

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Box Score 7/19: The shadow of the trade deadline begins to fall over baseball

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

Box Score 7/18: Burying a glove is fine until you have a zombie glove in the outfield

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

The 'Youth in baseball is cyclical' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

Getaway Day: Class is back in session

The 'Safeties in numbers' quiz

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