LOS ANGELES -- Dwight Howard won't finish his rehabilitation from back surgery in time for the start of the Los Angeles Lakers' training camp or their first preseason game next month.
The Lakers provided an update on the newly acquired centre's condition on their website Thursday night, confirming their long-anticipated decision to take it easy in Howard's return from spinal surgery.
The team doesn't intend to announce a timetable for Howard's recovery, but says he won't participate in the start of training camp on Oct. 2, or the preseason opener in Fresno five days later.
The six-time All-Star has said he hopes to be ready for the start of the regular season Oct. 30, but the team isn't speculating.
Howard recently began working with the Lakers' training staff on his recovery from surgery last April repairing a herniated disc and doing additional cleanup. Howard's personal trainer is working alongside the Lakers' staff, and the centre has experienced no setbacks.
Howard is doing core stabilization training while also getting in a little light running and shooting.
The Lakers can afford to be cautious with their new big man, acquired from Orlando in a four-team trade on Aug. 10 that sent All-Star centre Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.
Pau Gasol will be ready to play in the middle when training camp opens in two weeks, and the Lakers have years of experience in dealing with injured centres during Bynum's injury struggles.