James Lafferty in One Tree Hill by Fred Norris/The WB/The CW James Lafferty in One Tree Hill by Fred Norris/The WB/The CW

Nathan's ongoing recovery might not only (and literally) put him back in the game, it also will welcome a familiar face back to Tree Hill.

In episodes kicking off Oct. 13, Nathan will bring his strengthening skills to the arena of SlamBall, a new (and real-life!) sport which is played on a variety of surfaces and incorporates elements of basketball, football, hockey, soccer and gymnastics.

As the onetime NBA hopeful proves a big success in the full-contact sport, he struggles to honor a promise he made to Haley and their son, Jamie, that he would not risk his health again.

But where does the cutting-edge SlamBall idea come from in the first place? Sources tell me it's a onetime acquaintance of Nathan's who resurfaces in Tree Hill - and has a past connection to one of the town's resident beauties. - Matt Mitovich

Crave scoop? E-mail Matt and Mickey at mega_scoop@tvguide.com.