Oct 16, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (left) and guard Kobe Bryant watch on the bench during the game against the Utah Jazz at the Honda Center. The Jazz defeated the Lakers 114-80. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Report: Lakers targeting Sunday for Dwight Howard’s season debut

After undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in April, the Los Angeles Lakers are optimistic that Dwight Howard will make his season debut against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 21.

Sources told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that Howard has made progress, without any notable setbacks. Should he turn in a few good workouts, it is likely that the team will feel comfortable enough to reinstate him into the starting lineup alongside Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol.

Ideally, Howard will play in two of the Lakers’ three remaining preseason games. But that may not be physically possible for Howard given the back-to-back against the Los Angeles Clippers and Kings.

Adding a healthy Howard is obviously an important development for the Lakers. His presence makes them a lot more dangerous in pick-and-roll situations, both offensively and defensively.

For Howard, getting back to the floor, on a new team no less, is a little nerve wracking. The last time he appeared in a game was on Apr. 7 in a 88-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. If anything, at least he has Nash to aid his transition.

“I’ll be a little nervous out there for the first time, but [Nash] said he would help me through it and hopefully it will be OK,” Howard told reporters after Thursday’s practice.

Perhaps the Lakers can thank Howard’s potentially innovative Gangnam Style workout regimen for his smooth rehabilitation.

Tags: Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers