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Dwight Howard practices with Lakers, return date uncertain

10.03.12 at 3:33 pm ET
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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 ‘€œreally 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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