Howard's (shoulder) slow recovery from back surgery in April of 2012 was defended by Lakers athletic trainer Gary Vitti on Friday, NBA.com reports. (Rotowire.com)
Recommendation: Vitti relayed that Howard was quite agreeable and diligent in his rehabilitation last offseason, but when he steadied in that recovery, he was forced to return to the court, as no scrimmage can replicate the highest level of basketball. Over time, his play was much more energetic, as evidenced by his output from March 1 through the end of the regular season - 19.0 points (on 56.9 percent shooting), 13.6 boards, 2.7 blocks, 1.3 assists, and 1.2 steals in 38.1 minutes (23 games). During the summer, he'll be courted in unrestricted free agency, but wherever he lands, his health will be the primary question hanging over his head going into the fall.