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Greg Oden plays in an NBA game for the first time since 2009

By Royce Young | NBA writer

One thousand four hundred and eighteen. It's been 1,418 days since Greg Oden has played in an NBA game.

But Wednesday against the Pelicans, Oden stepped on the floor with 5:15 left in the first quarter, marking his first appearance since injuring his knee for the Trail Blazers in Dec. of 2009.

And wouldn't you know it, on his first touch he threw down a two-handed dunk.

Oden has undergone multiple knee surgeries -- the last being in 2012 -- which eventually led to him sitting out all of last season as a free agent, rehabbing and recovering for a comeback. He signed with the Heat this summer as a low risk, potentially high reward player, and if he can regain his health, the Heat may have a steal.

Because almost immediately, Oden was making an impact. In his first minute on the floor, he pulled in two rebounds and threw down that pretty ferocious dunk that led the Heat bench absolutely erupting.

Oden's first run on the floor lasted three minutes and 59 seconds. That's three minutes and 59 seconds of action in the last four years.

Things didn't look promising for Oden to return even a couple weeks ago as he experienced swelling after playing in some 5-on-5 drills. But it was just a minor thing apparently and he was able to get out on the court.

Oden, 25, has appeared in just 82 games in his career and while tonight's appearance doesn't count towards that, it counts for a whole lot more.

Video via The Point Forward

 
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