Once the Los Angeles Lakers officially acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, the main topic of discussion among Lakers fans and NBA analysts was the status of his surgically repaired back.
With no timetable set for Howard’s return and no telling whether he’d be able to continue to play at a high level once healthy, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the latest superstar addition to the Lakers franchise.
Fortunately, Howard hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the basketball floor with high praise during practice sessions and an impressive preseason for the Lakers.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was recently interviewed by Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News and had this to say about Howard’s recovery:
“The most encouraging thing for me is Dwight really hasn’t missed a practice,” Kupchak said. “He has exceeded my expectations in terms of recovery.”
After acquiring Howard back in August, there was no telling how long the recovery would take. There was a lot of speculation about Howard’s return with talk of the three-time Defensive Player of the Year making his debut in the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30 or possibly sitting out as much as the first month of the regular season.
All indications pointed to Howard making his return to the floor much sooner than anticipated and that he did by making his debut in purple and gold last weekend against the Sacramento Kings, before sitting out Wednesday against the Clippers and returning Thursday against the Kings.
The end result of Howard’s first game for the Lakers was promising to say the least with 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. His second game back was a bit less productive, as he scored nine points, grabbed eight boards and had two blocks, but he also turned it over five times.
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