Dwight Howard Leaves Practice After Being Poked in Eye

Dhiren Mahiban@@dcmahibanFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2013

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - OCTOBER 13:  Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard left practice early Monday after the Houston Rockets' prized offseason signing was poked in the eye.

Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle tweeted the news:

According to Creech's report, Howard had the eye looked at and then attended a charity event. 

The superstar center, who unceremoniously left the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with the Rockets in July, is expected back at practice Tuesday, which is great news for Houston. With the team opening the regular season Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, it may be wise to go easy on the $88 million dollar man during practice. 

Injuries have been an issue for Howard in the past. In April 2012, he underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk. He then battled with a torn labrum in his right shoulder last season, which he originally injured in early January.

Howard is now in Houston hoping to put the injuries of the past two seasons behind him. 

The seven-time NBA All-Star signed a four-year maximum contract with the Rockets in July after a tumultuous season in Los Angeles. His deal includes an early termination clause for 2016-17. 

Playing alongside James Harden, there are big expectations for Howard and the Rockets. Houston finished last season 45-37, but it was then bounced from the first round of the NBA playoffs in six games by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Howard enters the season with three Defensive Player of the Year awards under his belt. 

The Rockets play the Lakers for the first time on Nov. 7 in Houston. Howard's return to Los Angeles is Feb. 19, 2014.

It was just two seasons ago that Howard finished No. 2 in the MVP voting. Rockets fans are hoping the 27-year-old can return to that form this season and help establish the team as a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.