EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA.com) Dwight Howard is getting closer and closer to return to the hardwood as he played his first five-on-five scrimmage with the Los Angeles Lakers, Tuesday at the Toyota Training Facility in El Segundo.

Howard was cleared by head Lakers trainer Gary Vitti in the latest step of returning from his back surgery in April.

“I just want to play. I’m looking forward to it, but there is no need to rush,” said Howard after practice on Tuesday. “My main concern is to get my legs back.”

Howard is still unclear when he will return to the lineup as he jokingly told reporters, “I don’t have the app for that.”

After practice Howard also said he’s getting more comfortable playing with newly acquired Steve Nash.

“Nash has done an excellent job on finding the open guys –he’s throwing between guys legs, behind their backs and making guys fall. He’s making things very easy,” Howard added.

Coach Mike Brown said he is will continue to sit Howard until Vitti gives him the green light to play in games.

Once he returns to the floor, Howard believes they will be the team to beat, “The offense is incredible. Once we learn it and the chemistry builds, we’ll be good.”

The Lakers have 7 more preseason games before their opener on Oct. 30 against the Mavericks


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