Wizards head coach Scott Brooks confirmed on Saturday what could have been deduced by Dwight Howard missing practice all week, that the veteran center will not play in the team’s first preseason game on Monday night.

Howard, 32, has yet to hit the practice court as he deals with back soreness. He missed all five days of Wizards training camp with the injury.

Howard hasn’t been able to do much beyond work with trainers behind closed doors. Though, on Saturday he did practice free throws and midrange shots.

Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
The Wizards take on the Knicks at home in their first preseason game. They open the regular season on Oct. 18 against the Miami Heat.

Howard still has several weeks to get ready for the season to begin, but he is joining a new team and is losing valuable time that he could be spending developing a chemistry with teammates.

Brooks did not indicate anyone else would miss the first preseason game, though it wouldn’t be surprising if several starters sat out, given it is the first of their exhibition schedule.

Brooks did, however, say that only a few guys will get over 20 minutes and those will likely be rookies battling for the final roster spot.

Source: Chase Hughes