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Lakers' Howard cleared for five-on-five workouts

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will miss the team's preseason game Wednesday as he continues to recover from offseason back surgery. However, he has been cleared to begin limited participation in five-on-five scrimmages, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Howard told reporters last week that would "hopefully" play at least some during the preseason, but he backed off that Sunday as he watched the Lakers fall to the Golden State Warriors 110-83 in the preseason opener.

"I'm on track (to return), but my goal wasn't to play (in) a preseason game," Howard told ESPN Los Angeles. "My goal is to win a championship. That's what we're shooting for."

The Lakers will play the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday in Ontario, Calif., one of six remaining exhibition games before they open the season Oct. 30 against the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The team's frontcourt is even more short-handed, as forward Jordan Hill will be sidelined at least a week after being diagnosed with a herniated disk in his back.

Hill was injured during Monday night's game in Fresno, Calif., during which he scored 10 points. The team announced Hill would be re-evaluated in a week.

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