The All-Star Centre is eyeing a return to the Los Angeles Lakers line-up for opening night against the Dallas Mavericks....
The Los Angeles Lakers have done a good job to keep Dwight Howard’s return from back injury a secret, stating every time that they have not put a timetable for his return and want him to be fully healed and rested before he takes the court.
Howard too did a good job in not giving away any information about his eventual return to action. Judging by the seriousness and nature of his surgery, many people did not see him coming back before December, while some were even talking about a February return. However, the reason for the secrecy around his return may be because the Lakers are planning on having him back much before what people are speculating.
Yahoo! Sports has reported that Howard is recovering well from his back surgery and may very well be back in the line-up and ready for action on opening night for the Los Angeles Lakers this coming season.
“Five months after back surgery, All-Star center Dwight Howard has targeted his Los Angeles Lakers debut for opening night of the 2012-13 season, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Howard is determined to play against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 30 at Staples Center, and his progress in recent weeks has strengthened the possibility,” reported Yahoo! Sports.
Howard struggled with back problems during the later part of the 2011-2012 NBA season, and underwent surgery on his back to repair a herniated disc around five months ago.
A return before the anticipated time will change the complexion of the Western Conference next season, and give the Lakers a very good chance of finishing among the top two seeds. Ever since Howard was acquired by the Lakers, the main argument for the Lakers not being title favourites was that Howard was going to miss the first few months of the season, making it difficult for the Lakers to develop team chemistry with their new players.
However, with Howard possibly starting on opening night and playing the full season, the Lakers stand a good chance of taking top seed next season, and having a comfortable journey all the way to the conference finals.
Having said that, the Lakers know the importance of Howard in the long term and therefore, will not let him back on the court unless they are 100 percent sure that he is ready for the grind of a full regular season.