The countdown before Lakers training camp remains a little more than a week away. The countdown before Dwight Howard returns to the court remains another story. The Lakers have already announced the Lakers center will miss at least the Lakers' preseason opener Oct. 7 against Golden State as he rehabs from back surgery. His workouts beginning last week with the Lakers training staff included core stabilization, upper and lower body strength, light running and shooting. He's not expected to participate in training camp beginning Oct. 2. And in his introductory news conference last month, Howard acknowledged he may miss the season opener Oct. 30 against the Dallas Mavericks if it means ensuring his back becomes fully healthy.