Says Lakers center Dwight Howard: 'Im not in Superman shape. I want… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
Dwight Howard ran sprints after practice Wednesday to improve his conditioning and said he had also cut back on candy and undergone acupuncture treatments.
“I’m in good shape for a basketball player,” the Lakers center said, “but I’m not in Superman shape. I want to get in Superman shape.”
How far away is he, given that it's been 10 months since he underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back?
“It’s awhile,” he said, “but I’m going to give it everything I can.”
Howard has put together a nice stretch since the All-Star break with three double-doubles in four games. He will look to keep it going Thursday when the Lakers host the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center, part of a TNT doubleheader preceded by the Philadelphia 76ers playing at Chicago against the Bulls.
Howard suggested that his struggles during a season in which he has failed to meet expectations will ultimately help him.
"This has been a good year for me in spite of all the situations and all the adversity, so I’m happy that I’m going through a lot of this stuff," Howard said. "I think it’s going to make me better in the long run. So I’m looking at all of this as a gift instead of a curse."
Howard said he was not surprised it has taken him this long to recover from his back surgery.
"I knew it was going to be tough," he said. "When you take six months doing that ... and can’t do anything and then try to come back and play NBA basketball, it’s hard.
"It’s one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. I like doing the sprints and pushing myself and just thinking about what I’m doing it for. That makes me go harder."
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