Emeka Okafor hasn't appeared in an NBA game since Feb. 10, but that eight month waiting period is about to end when the Wizards play their only home preseason game – and he makes his debut with a new team – on Thursday against the New York Knicks.

"It's been a long time," Okafor said after Wednesday's practice. "I mean, just getting back into the flow. Practice is one thing, games are a completely different thing."

Okafor missed the final 39 games of last season in New Orleans with a left knee injury, but after taking a few months off, he spent the offseason focusing on his durability and strengthening areas of weakness. He described the experience of ending last season in street clothes as "awkward, man. Sitting out is never fun. You always feel [like the] odd man out. Actions going on … you're just stagnant. It's not a very good feeling at all."

Randy Wittman decided to rest Okafor during the Wizards' 100-88 loss in Charlotte, but he has participated in every practice since training camp started last week.

Wittman said Okafor hasn't experienced any problems with his knee or elsewhere during practice: "He looks fine. He's been fine all summer and he's been full bore ever since we got a hold of him."

Okafor is diligent when it comes to managing his body and has tried to make sure that he doesn't push himself too hard and risk suffering a more serious injury down the road.