Dwight Howard took part in the Lakers’ team practice yesterday, and the plan now seems to be not just suiting up for opening night, but perhaps well before that. Reports the LA Daily News: “Howard did everything his teammates did during an almost four-hour opening session. The 6-foot-11 center hasn’t been cleared to participate in a full-contact scrimmage, and the Lakers didn’t conduct one Tuesday. Later, after looking winded during a five-on-zero drill in which the starting five went through various plays, Howard said he was hopeful of playing in ‘some preseason games’ because ‘I think we’re going to need it for chemistry and all that stuff.’ [...] ‘Today was really good, so I’m happy,’ he added. Last week, the Lakers ruled him out of Sunday’s exhibition opener. The team has not announced a timetable for his return, however. Howard also has declined to say when he might be sound enough to play and refuted an Internet report last week that indicated he was targeting opening night for his Lakers debut. ‘I don’t know the date when I’m going to return, but I’m looking forward to (today’s) practice to see how my body feels when I wake up,’ Howard said. ‘We can only go by time right now and how I feel after practice. We’re not in a rush. These guys need me for the whole season and not a couple of preseason games.’ Howard, asked for his first impressions of the Princeton offense, said, ‘I like how the offense flows. Once all of us learn how to move off each other and feed off each other, all that stuff is going to come and the offensive is going to be great.’”