Dwight Howard still at least a week away from returning

USA TODAY Sports

Hopefully the Lakers aren't expecting Dwight Howard's return to solve their problems, because he's still at least four games away from getting back on the court.

Lakers center Dwight Howard is not expected to be available for at least another week while continuing to rest his separated labrum, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Los Angeles has already dropped the past two games that Howard has missed and it's looking like he'll be watching from the sideline for their next four matchups against the Thunder, Cavaliers, Bucks and Heat. It wouldn't be too surprising if the Lakers elect to keep Howard out longer than that as well, since this injury occurred as an aggravation of a previous shoulder strain.

Medina does pass along that Howard is expected to be reevaluated sometime next week. He also wrote that the 27-year-old big man has been participating in conditioning drills even though he's still unable to use his upper body for much.

Howard is averaging 17.3 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks through his first 33 games in a Lakers uniform. Rookie Robert Sacre has averaged 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in two games starting in Howard's place after being called up from the D-League.

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