No rush: Greg Oden says he's raring to go, but understands why Heat taking patient approach

Greg Oden was watching from the sideline when the first Miami Heat practice of the season ended, big icepacks strapped to each of his knees.

It's all part of the plan.

Oden wants to be able to play on Oct. 29, when the two-time defending champion Heat open their season against the Chicago Bulls. It doesn't seem like having the oft-injured No. 1 pick available for that game is exactly that big a priority for Miami, which is taking a very cautious approach with the center who hasn't appeared in the NBA since 2009.

Oden practiced for about 30 minutes on Tuesday in the first workout of the team's training camp. That's roughly equivalent to what his on-court workouts were back in Miami in recent weeks.