Lakers center Dwight Howard was cleared for full court five on five drills… (Harry How / Getty Images…)
Although he was cleared Tuesday for full-court five-on-five scrimmages with limited minutes, center Dwight Howard won't play in the Lakers' second exhibition game, Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers in Ontario.
The Lakers haven't provided a firm timetable on when he will play. But Howard has maintained throughout the last week in training camp that he won't play in a game until his surgically repaired back is fully ready. Still, Howard changed his opinion on the importance of appearing in any of the seven remaining exhibition games.
Last week, Howard said "hopefully" he'd play sometime in the preseason. But before the Lakers' lost Sunday to Golden State, Howard seemed not concerned about suiting up for such contests.
"I'm on track, but my goal wasn't to play a preseason game," Howard said. "My goal is to win a championship. That's what we're shooting for."
Howard had missed only seven games in eight seasons before suffering a herniated disk in his back last April, and the Lakers don't seem to be worried. But Howard's return could take on added importance because Jordan Hill injured his herniated disk and will be reevaluated next week.
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