The news surrounding Dwight Howard’s health as of late has been quite promising with the newest superstar addition to the Los Angeles Lakers participating in contact drills at the team’s practice facility and looking better than anticipated at this point in his rehab from back surgery.
An official announcement from the Lakers organization has yet to be made about Howard’s status for the season-opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30. All indications point to Howard making his debut with the team at the end of next month with the progress he’s made, but official statement has been made or will be made for at least a few more weeks.
Dr. Robert Klapper, chief of orthopedic surgery at Cedar Senai, made an appearance on ESPN 710 on Friday to discuss Howard’s health and the potential he’s back to form and ready for the start of the season. Klapper said the following:
“Dwight Howard is going to be better than he was before the surgery because now we know there’s no chance of him re-herniating the disc. He’s now working on his mechanics which are a big part of why he injured himself in the first place. His core strength is going to be better. It’s my opinion, and it’s only that, I see Dwight Howard suiting up, being there for the first game, playing in the first game and having a record season with the Lakers.”
After witnessing Howard practicing his post moves with assistant coach Darvin Ham recently, it became clear that the perennial All-Star may be closer to 100 percent than once thought.
To make things more interesting, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Howard may be available for opening night, something not many people were expecting.
Y! Sources: Five months after surgery, Dwight Howard targeting season opener for Lakers debut. yhoo.it/QbNSGt
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) September 29, 2012
With Howard already ruled out of the first pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 7, the reality of Howard not suiting up for the start of the regular season seemed very possible. Although Howard may ultimately be watching from the bench on Oct. 30, practicing with contact, moving well and Klapper’s medical opinion is promising to say the least.
As mentioned earlier, the Lakers will most likely hold off on making any announcement about Howard’s playing status for a few more weeks, but it seems that Howard may very well be on the floor to face the Mavs a little more than a month from now.
In case you missed it – Dwight Howard talks about starting over in Los Angeles: