After a five-week injury saga, it appears center Dwight Howard is finally ready to make his debut with the Washington Wizards.
Howard, 32, is eyeing Friday's game at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder as his return date, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.
That timeline makes sense based on the fact Howard stayed back in Washington as the team went on their recent 10-day road trip. He has spent the past week-plus working with trainers and assistant coaches, gearing up for his return.
The Wizards have sorely missed Howard so far through six games. They are last in the NBA in opponent points per game and 27th in defensive rating. He is their best rim protector and can help solidify the paint.
Washington is 28th in opponent rebounds and 29th in opponent offensive rebounds. Howard is one of the best rebounders in the NBA.
The Wizards are 29th out of 30 teams in screen assists per game. Howard ranked sixth among NBA players in the category last season.
With Howard out, the Wizards have stumbled to a 1-6 start and have lost four straight games. They have also missed starting power forward Markieff Morris in recent days to concussion symptoms.
For the first time, they will get to play with the roster they drew up in the offseason and it's coming at an opportune time.
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