Kevin McHale plans to have Dwight Howard return to lineup Wednesday against Pelicans


Dwight Howard has missed the last 26 games for the Rockets due to injury, but thanks to the brilliance of James Harden, the team has gone 17-9 without him.

If Kevin McHale gets his way, Houston won’t be without much longer.

From Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle:

McHale says depending on how Dwight Howard feels today, he plans to play him tomorrow in New Orleans

Dwight Howard said he felt good after a practice in Indiana today. He and the staff will talk tomorrow and if he is up to it, he will play.

Coach McHale on Dwight Howard: “We plan to play him unless what we did today bothers him.”

Howard would be on a minutes restriction, but getting him reacclimated in any capacity for the final 12 games of the regular season is important for the team’s chemistry heading into the playoffs.

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The Rockets are at third place in the Western Conference standings, two up on Portland and two-and-a-half back of Memphis. Howard has averaged 16.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots this season, while playing 32.2 minutes per contest in 32 total appearances.