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No surprise, but Dwight Howard officially out through first exhibition game

Sep 13, 2012, 8:43 PM EST

Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Dwight Howard Getty Images

Since it is possible he will miss the start of the season, it is not a shock that he is going to miss the start of training camp and the first exhibition game. Frankly, it was expected.

But it is now official — Dwight Howard will not be ready to go for the Lakers first exhibition game, Oct. 7 in Fresno against Golden State, the Lakers announced on Thursday (hat tip to the OC Register).

You know Howard is bummed because nobody wants to miss out on a free trip to Fresno.

Howard has just begun workouts with longtime Lakers trainer Gary Vitti. No date is set for Howard’s return. The Lakers have said they wanted Howard to go slow and be 100 percent before he comes back. Which is the smart thing to do — it’s not about games in November it’s about games in June for the Lakers. They need him all the way back

Howard had back surgery after having to end last season early for the Orlando Magic due to back pain.

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