John Denton of Florida Today wrote:
Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard said he feels no lingering effects from the slightly fractured sternum he suffered in the playoffs and he expects to be fully healthy next week when he reports to training camp for Team USA’s basketball team.
Howard, 22, opens training camp with Team USA July 21 in Las Vegas in preparation for the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
Howard suffered the sternum injury in Game 2 of the Magic’s second-round playoff series against the Detroit Pistons, but never missed any time on the court. The extent of the injury wasn’t discovered until after the Magic were eliminated 4-1 by the Pistons.
``I’ve been cleared to play,’’ Howard said Tuesday.
``I’ve been working out and trying to get my (muscles) back. I can practice, I’m good to go.
``It bothered me a lot. I tried to play through the pain in the playoffs and I really didn’t know anything about it until after the playoffs. I just tried to play through it. I got sandwiched, my shoulders went in and it popped. It wasn’t a good feeling, but I’m happy to be healed.’’
Howard will be joined on Team USA by Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd , Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams. Tyson Chandler, the only other 7-footer on the roster, was named an alternate and will train with the team in Las Vegas next week.
Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski is the head coach, while New York’s Mike D’Antoni, Portland’s Nate McMillan and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim are the assistants.
Team USA will train in Las Vegas July 21-25. It will face the Canadian National Team on July 25 in the State Farm USA Basketball Challenge in Las Vegas.
Team USA will then travel to China to play two exhibition games in Macao, China, and two more games in Shanghai, China. Team USA will face Turkey (July 31) and Lithuania (Aug. 1). In Shanghai, Team USA will play Russia (Aug. 3) and Australia (Aug. 5).
Team USA’s basketball squad will arrive in Beijing on Aug. 6, and preliminary play will begin on Aug. 10. USA will face host China on Aug. 10 in its first Olympic game. Game 2 will be on Aug. 12 against African champion, Angola. One of the marquee games of the event will be Aug. 16 when Team USA faces FIBA World Champion Spain.