NEW YORK -- Greg Oden, trying to make it back after a career-threatening knee injury, endured a slight setback Wednesday as he was held out of practice with swelling in his left knee.
Oden missing practice comes two days after he had his first 5-on-5 workout since starting his comeback attempt with the Heat. His highlight Monday was blocking a shot by LeBron James.
Oden's return to contact work had spurred some optimism that he could play in a preseason game. Those hopes have been dimmed now as he's had to ease off his workload.
The Heat and Oden have been very careful to avoid setting a timetable for the center's return in part because they're preparing for setbacks such as this.
"This has been three years for me, as long as it's no surgery, it's OK," said Oden, who last played in an NBA game in 2009. "This is going to be a long season, I'm going to get there."
The Heat training staff measures Oden's troublesome knees before and after every workout to monitor any swelling. The team has moved cautiously but had slowly been increasing his workload as he responded well to the first weeks of training camp and the preseason. Getting back to doing full-court work was an anticipated step.
"I was hoping it didn't (swell up) but it did, but what can I do about it?" Oden said. "Next thing to do is get (the swelling) back down and get out there and figure out what I can do to not let it swell again."