Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 10/16/12
Just as practice ended, the Lakers' frontline in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol performed a move that usually leaves defenders off balance. But this time, it involved a sea full of reporters. Gasol entered the media scrum, while Howard hoped to sneak into the trainer's room. But to no avail. It's understandable considering Howard knows the question before the media asks. Has Howard rehabbed his surgically repaired back enough to play in a exhibition season game? Because he hasn't, Howard won't appear in Tuesday's game as the Lakers host the Utah Jazz at Anaheim's Honda Center. "I want to play, but at the same time I want to make sure I'm in good shape," Howard said at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo. "There's no pain in my back. The biggest thing is trying to be in shape." Howard currently doesn't have any practice restrictions. For the past 10 days, Howard has practiced in full-court five-on-five scrimmages with contact. Howard's spent his time after practices and before games working out with assistant coaches Chuck Person and Darvin Ham. Howard has performed this without any reported setbacks. But Lakers Coach Mike Brown has maintained the team's training staff has taken the "big picture" in not rushing Howard's return. "They've given me some information in terms of dates they may target and may not target," Brown said. "But I'm just going to wait for them. Instead of me putting something out there, I'll just wait until he's cleared. It's all guessing right now. So is there something Howard must do before Lakers trainer Gary Vitti will clear him? "He has to bike from Beverly Hills to Anaheim during rush hour on a 10-speed," Brown joked. "If he does that, Gary will release him. But I still have to check with Gary." In all seriousness, Howard just wants to ensure he doesn't suffer from fatigue as quickly as he has during practices. During his sessions with Person and Ham, Howard said they've emphasized improving his core. "Every time you stand forward without using your legs, you're putting more pressure on your back," Howard said." I'm just doing little things that will help me stabilize my back more. It's hard. Just like with anything, when you've been doing things for a long time a certain way, it's a transition to do it a different way." So is returning to the court. But as Howard's maintained all along, he's not rushing it. Hence, why he tried avoiding the media scrum. It didn't work. -Mark Medina
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron: ‘I don’t really see a problem’ with Hack-a-Shaq

Report: Asking price 'too steep' for Howard trade to Celtics

Ex-teammate: 'Fair to assume' Lynch done with Seahawks

Steve Young: ‘I’m worried about Matthew’ Stafford

Report: Clippers, Nuggets have discussed Blake Griffin trade

Report: Louisville basketball implements postseason ban

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

J.R. Smith pulls a Marshawn on 3-point contest slight

Tom Brady has clock counting down to Super Bowl LI

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The Jaguars and NFL’s permanent calling in London

John Scott’s NHL All-Star Game Odyssey: Now in storybook form

Bazed but not confused: Why Bazemore is in for a payday

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker