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Lakers' Howard cleared for 5-on-5 practice

Associated Press

10/9/2012 4:59:56 PM

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Dwight Howard has been cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Los Angeles Lakers in his latest step back from off-season surgery.

Howard won't play in the Lakers' next preseason game Wednesday night against Portland in Ontario, Calif.

Howard was cleared Tuesday for limited participation in full-court scrimmages with contact. He had participated in every other aspect of the Lakers' practices during training camp except full-court contact.

The six-time All-Star centre had surgery on his back last spring.

Howard hasn't projected a date for his Lakers debut, but is hopeful he can participate in a preseason game. After Wednesday's visit from the Trail Blazers, the Lakers will have six more exhibitions before their season opener Oct. 30 against Dallas.