It's only an exhibition game, and it's not yet set in stone, but the big off-season acquisition will "possibly" make his debut with his new team Sunday against the Sacramento Kings, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Howard's back is not the issue. He had surgery last April to repair a herniated disk and is reporting no pain from it.
The greater unknown is his conditioning. He has steadily increased his workload in Lakers practices and was cleared last week to play in five-on-five scrimmages, but he will not play Sunday at Staples Center if there is even a slight question about his game shape.
If Howard plays against the Kings, he will probably not suit up next Wednesday against the Clippers, but will then play next Thursday in another game against Sacramento.
Howard said he would be nervous for his first game since being traded by Orlando.
"New town, new city, I think everybody's expecting a lot out of this team and they're expecting a lot out of me" he said after practice Thursday. "So I have to make sure I keep all of that out of my mind when I'm playing and just have fun."
Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds for the Magic last season.
The Lakers are set to begin the regular season Oct. 30 against Dallas.