Dwight Howard is expected to miss the beginning of the 12-13 season as he recovers from his April back surgery, according to multiple sources.

"My health is great," Howard said. "I'm getting a lot better and a lot stronger every day. I'm looking forward to the doctor saying you are free to play. I can't wait for that day."

During their Friday press conference, both Howard and Mitch Kupchak were optimistic that he could return before the opener.

"We'll see what the doctor says," Howard said. "If I'm ready for opening night I'll be there but I'm not going to rush it. A back is very serious, so I'm going to take my time and make sure I'm 100 percent because I want to give everybody 100 percent. I want to give everybody everything I have."

"We feel very assured that he's going to be back," Kupchak said. "We're hopeful he's back for camp, we're hopeful he's back to start the season, but we know he's going to be back and playing at a high level at some point in time."