Over the past few weeks, Dwight Howard has been doing everything within his power to get back on the basketball floor. With no timetable for his return, it remains uncertain when he’ll be ready to make his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now that Howard has been participating in 5-on-5 full contact practices with the team, many people believe his return to the floor is right around the corner and may very well take place during the preseason.
Unfortunately, Howard’s return will likely not be in Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Times via Twitter:
Lakers Coach Mike Brown doesn’t expect Dwight Howard to play Saturday against Utah
— Mark Medina (@MarkGMedina) October 12, 2012
Even though Howard continues to improve his health while receiving rave reviews by coaches, teammates and the media as a result of his performance during practice sessions, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year still isn’t 100 percent and won’t suit up until he feels that way.
After Saturday’s matchup against Utah, the Lakers will face the Jazz one more time before taking on the Sacramento Kings. Oddly enough, the Kings will play the Lakers a total of three times in the preseason and the Los Angeles Clippers only once before the start of the regular season on Oct. 30.
With the progress that Howard has made over the past few weeks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could make his debut before opening night against the Dallas Mavericks. The first game of the regular season remains the ultimate goal for Howard’s return.