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Dwight Howard practices with Lakers, but won't yet scrimmage

Los Angeles Lakers' center Dwight Howard is showing no signs of limitation from his surgically repaired back and appears to be nearing full strength, though the team remains cautious in its approach.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is showing little to no signs of being limited by a back injury that caused him to miss games during the 2011-12 NBA season as he practiced for the second straight day on Wednesday. The Lakers are going to remain cautious, however, and hold him out of the 5-on-5 scheduled scrimmage that will cover the second half of the session.

Howard participated in full on Tuesday, and was not limited Wednesday during the first of a scheduled two-a-day with an evening session to follow. That's good news for the Lakers faithful who gathered at the team's El Segundo, Calif. practice facility to catch a glimpse of the All-Star in action.

It's also good news in the eyes of head coach Mike Brown, who was optimistic about what he's seen from Howard. "I don't know when he's coming back or whatever," Brown said. "As much as he's practicing, to me, he's back."

That's music to the Lakers' ears as there was wide concern that the injury could keep Howard out for a significant amount of time. As it stands now, it's looking more and more likely that he'll suit up relatively early in the regular season.