Howard Cleared for 5-on-5 Scrimmages

Marking the next step of his rehabilitation process from back surgery in April, Dwight Howard was cleared on Tuesday for full contact, 5-on-5 scrimmages with his teammates.

With that clearance came a minutes limit for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, as he’ll work back in steadily instead of all at once. Howard had previously participated in 5-on-5-on-5 drills, but had been kept out of full 5-on-5 scrimmages.

What’s the difference? The former rotates three teams in and out — often, the team getting a defensive stop stays on the court — while the latter mimics game action.

Howard is not expected to play in the team’s second preseason game against Portland in Ontario at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening.