Not exactly something Laker fans would like to hear but it looks like Dwight Howard's debut in purple and gold will have to wait until some time during the regular season.
Thursday afternoon, the Lakers released an injury update on Howard on their official website. In the 4-paragraph report, it stated that the 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will not be ready for training camp and will not play any pre-season games starting on Oct. 7th against the Golden State Warriors in Fresno, California.
It also mentioned that there is no timetable on his return.
Since early this week, Howard has been busy with his physical therapy headed by long-time Lakers trainer Gary Vitti and head physical therapist Dr. Judy Seto (whom Kobe Bryant brought in last season).
Howard has been rehabilitating since April 20th when he underwent spinal surgery, which ended his final season with the Orlando Magic prematurely last year.
While the news is disappointing to Laker fans, it isn't entirely surprising. In his press conference immediately after his trade to the Lakers, Howard reiterated that he won't force his return and will not come back until he's 100%.
At this point, that is probably the reason why an official timetable hasn't been set by the Lakers.
The good news is, at least, the Lakers confirmed that Dwight's progressing real well and there have not been any setbacks.
The Lakers front office anticipated something like this happening when they traded for Howard and made sure the team won't be left without a legit post player until his debut by keeping Pau Gasol.
Howard's absence will delay the progress of full team chemistry but it's more vital for the Lakers to have a fully healthy Dwight Howard in the long run.
In the meantime, Laker fans still have Steve Nash to watch orchestrate the Laker offense.