Dwight Howard is “happy” with Los Angeles Lakers’ first team practice
The six-time All-Star Dwight Howard easily mixed in with the rest of healthy Los Angeles Lakers players, taking part in all team practice workouts on Tuesday without any sort of limitations.
The 26-year-old Dwight Howard had surgery performed on his back in April to repair a herniated disk. However, that wasn’t an issue of concern for the Los Angeles Lakers who acquired Dwight Howard through a four-team trade on 4th August.
It’s been five months since the surgery and Dwight Howard has been relentlessly working towards full rehabilitation under the supervision of Los Angeles Lakers assistant coaches Darvin Ham and Chuck Person. Over the last month, Dwight Howard has also been working at improving his post moves.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown revealed that Dwight Howard had been involved in conditioning workout six days a week.
"He looked good," said Mike Brown regarding Dwight Howard’s performance so far in team practice.
Although Tuesday’s team practice was closed to the media, a source who witnessed Dwight Howard workout claimed that his progress was “unbelievable.”
"He was dunking everything in sight," stated the source. "He looks like he can play in an NBA game today."
Even Dwight Howard’s teammate Pau Gasol, who got into drills with the new recruit, was impressed by his performance at Tuesday’s team practice.
"He worked just as much as everybody else, so that was good," said Los Angeles guard Pau Gasol. "I didn't expect that to happen today."
The Los Angeles Lakers’ practice mainly involved 1-on-1, 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 full-contact drills but there was no 5-on-5 drill action on the court Tuesday.
Dwight Howard has been ruled out of Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason opener against the Atlanta Hawks and a similar picture has been set for the whole preseason. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year himself has no schedule on his debt for the Los Angeles Lakers.
"All I know is that we had a great practice today. I don't know the date when I'm going to return,” said Dwight Howard. “But I'm looking forward to (tomorrow’s) practice to see how my body feels when I wake up.”
Still, Dwight Howard hoped to make a fleeting appearance during the preseason and expressed the desire to return by the Los Angeles Lakers’ regular season opener against the Boston Celtics on 30th October.
"Hopefully, I'll be back for some preseason games," Dwight Howard revealed his expectation with the presaosn. "I think we're going to need it for chemistry and all that stuff. “
But…I'm not going to rush it,” added Dwight Howard. “I'm going to continue to practice… These guys need me for the whole season, not a couple preseason games."
Mike Brown stated that the Los Angeles Lakers’ training staff will make the final call over Dwight Howard’s expected return this season.
"Whenever he's ready, he'll be ready," said Mike Brown. “"It's our trainers' jobs… They're out here the whole practice and if they feel they need to pull him out of it, they'll pull him out."