Washington Wizards: Dwight Howard practices in full on Monday

Washington Wizards Dwight Howard (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Dwight Howard (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Dwight Howard was finally able to practice on Monday, which is a good sign for the Washington Wizards.

Dwight Howard got through his first full practice for the Washington Wizards on Monday since camp opened up in September. This is a good sign heading into the Thursday’s season opener against the Miami Heat.

As most know, Howard has been suffering through some recent back issues. It’s not surprising since he’s been dealing with back problems for the past three years. Howard suffered the injury while training in the offseason, and the pain worsened after the he took a promotional flight to China.

Originally, Howard stated that the injury shouldn’t cause him to miss significant time and that it was just a minor setback. He’s got incentive to come back sooner than later as he tries to prove that he’s still one of the most dominant big men in the league.

Obviously it would be fantastic if the Wizards could get Howard back to face their Southeast Divisions foes, but let’s not jump the gun just yet. Washington doesn’t have another player of Howard’s caliber at center, but veteran Ian Mahinmi will assume the role if Howard is unable to play. As we’ve seen this preseason Mahinmi is more than capable to hold down the fort until the All-Star big man is ready to return.

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Hopefully, Howard is able to get 1-2 more practices in before Thursday. He’s clearly in shape, but his conditioning is most likely not where it needs to be. On the other hand, Howard is entering his 14th NBA season and knows what it takes to be ready.

Regardless, it’s still a long shot to start this week against the Heat, but things are certainly trending upwards. To stay up to date on all things Wizards this season, be sure to follow Wiz of Awes throughout the season.