Report: Dwight Howard Cleared For Full Contact…In Practice

Darius Soriano —  October 9, 2012 — 18 Comments

In what can only be music to Lakers’ fans’ ears, Dwight Howard has been cleared for full contact in 5 on 5 scrimmages. Mike Trudell of has the update:

Marking the next step of his rehabilitation process from back surgery in April, Dwight Howard was cleared on Tuesday for full contact, 5-on-5 scrimmages with his teammates. With that clearance came a minutes limit for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, as he’ll work back in steadily instead of all at once. Howard had previously participated in 5-on-5-on-5 drills, but had been kept out of full 5-on-5 scrimmages.

With this hurdle now cleared and assuming no set backs, it’s only a matter of time before Howard is cleared to participate in game action. This makes it extremely likely that Howard will be ready for the start of the regular season on October 30th and maybe even sooner (allowing him to play in one, or more, of the Lakers’ preseason games). Again, this is fantastic news especially with Jordan Hill now on the shelf with his own back issues.

Of course, the Lakers will still plan to take it slow with Howard and not rush him back — a philosophy I’m on board with one hundred percent. While it’s important for Howard to find a chemistry with his new mates, we mustn’t forget that he has been participating in offensive and defensive drills since the beginning of camp to the point that Mike Brown remarked, “As much as he’s practicing, to me, he’s back.”

So, even though Howard back-tracked somewhat in stating that he’s not necessarily looking towards playing in the preseason as a goal, it’s very nice to hear that he continues to progress and get closer to being ready to play in real game action — whatever that timeline turns out to be.

Darius Soriano

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18 responses to Report: Dwight Howard Cleared For Full Contact…In Practice

  1. very very nice …. and to think i thought he would be out until Christmas

  2. This is great news. When the blockbuster trade was made, the big concern was that the healing process for the back would be way behind this timetable. Now that we know it isn’t – I think it is settled that the blockbuster was a great deal. And of course it is now solidified that we have the best team !

  3. We all should remain positive… But the main problem with back surgery has never been the recovery time but the percentage of athletisism retained post surgery. It’s nice that Howard will be back for the preseason but that pales in comparison to the importance or how he was effected by the surgery. The good thing about this is we will find out if indeed we have the second best player in the NBA (what Howard has been for the last five years) sooner rather than later. Rememeber that players like our own Luke Walton didn’t miss much time after surgery either. Star players like Larry Johnson missed the same amount of time as well. But all looked very stiff post surgery and lost a great deal of athletisism. The biggest hurdle has yet to be cleared. We will need to focus all of our Laker energy to Dwight’s back and hope he joins Scottie Pippen as the players who fully recover from back surgery. If anyone can do it it’s Dwight… One of the two athletic freaks in the entire league.

  4. Sorry offtopic:

    What happened to the suggested improvements to the site? I would REALLY REALLY like an ignore button.

  5. OT: also, the right side bar is still taking a few min to appear.

  6. Good news, much better news than no news or news of a setback.

    Let’s leave it at that for now.

  7. #5 & #6: An ignore button is not happening. I am still trying to get the sidebar issues sorted out. There are several things I want to accomplish on that front and sorting out how to get it all done is both time consuming and will require some capital. A mobile site is something that will take some time to develop, however.

  8. Me likey likey…

    Go lakers!!!

    @Darius, it doesn’t have to take a big capital to have to get the things you mentioned such as front sorting, mobile sites/…etc…

    I have my own blog and it have it developed for practically a small fraction of its cost.

    Let me know it you want help, I can refer you to my the group who did my website.

    Go Lakers!

  9. Darius:

    Thanks for the response. I guess I’m gonna have to script my own ignore…

  10. sorry about my typing today… a little dizzy and tired…

    Here is my web developers website…

  11. Everything is shaping up where Dwight plays opening night and I couldn’t be more happier about that. And I’d bet he plays sparringly the next preseason game.

    Great column on Hill. He’s very much needed and as our 3rd big is as important as the 3rd guard off the bench. Lakers need him healthy.

    Any word on how Ebanks, CDR and DJO are looking?

  12. This herniated disc injury is contagious. Aside from chemistry our main concern is the health of our players specially the starters come playoff time. Hope that this season would be injury free season.

  13. Dwight is about a week ahead of where I thought he would be based on Sep video. Still expect to see him in the last 2 pre-season games. Hill is now a bigger ? until we see him back on the floor.

  14. If Hill were to miss time in the regular season, then Jamison can slide to the backup 4 (which is more of his natural position), then Ebanks can be MWP’s backup and Meeks backs up Kobe. not too worried about him missing some time as the Lakers have a deeper bench compared to last year. Maybe CDR can pull a surprise and make the rotation and play some 2 and 3 spots

  15. Dr Aaron, what is more important, an optimistic outcome or being right??? I think everyone understands the possibility of a setback, however constant reminders are totally unnecessary. Instead of posting these “cautionary” comments, why don’t you just wish the man well and leave it at that. Cos other than trying to rile up responses I don’t see the point.

  16. Thanks 1/2 D&R,any_one_house for good wishes. I never went away because I love the writers in this blog with their finest quality reporting. I just get agitated when my Laker fan is being questioned. I have been a peacemaker since ’06 nor have any self interest to be a blogger. I post only as a fan. I moved on and peace. I am also over excited in the year of the Lakers.

  17. EdwinG,

    Believe me – I know! I’ve known you since the old LATimes days. Remember Mike Teniente and his infatuation with Kwame’s corn-bred calves? 🙂

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