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Dwight Howard practices with Lakers, return date uncertain

10.03.12 at 3:33 pm ET
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Dwight Howard

Lakers center Dwight Howard practiced Tuesday for the first time since his back surgery five months ago. Howard was a full participant in team drills at the Lakers’ first practice of the season.

Howard called the practice “really good,” and coach Mike Brown indicated he was impressed with Howard’s performance.

“Whenever he’s ready, he’ll be ready,” Brown said. “It’s our trainers’ jobs. Our trainers do a terrific job of it. They’re out here the whole practice and if they feel they need to pull him out of it, they’ll pull him out.”

While Howard’s exact return date is uncertain, the team has ruled him out for the preseason opener on Oct. 7. Howard has said he’d like to play in some preseason games to work on team mechanics and chemistry.

The Lakers start the season against the Mavericks on Oct. 30.

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