Howard won’t play in preseason opener

The Lakers confirmed Thursday that Dwight Howard would be sidelined when the team opens its preseason slate of games Oct. 7 in Fresno against the Golden State Warriors.

Howard is not expected to be ready to participate when the Lakers start training camp next month.

The newly acquired center, who had surgery in April to repair a herniated disk in his back, said last month that he might not be ready by the Lakers’ season opener Oct. 30.

The Lakers probably will shift 7-foot Pau Gasol to center in Howard’s absence and use Jordan Hill as their starting power forward.

Howard began workouts this week with the Lakers training staff. His workouts include core stabilization, upper and lower body strengthening, light running and shooting.

-Ben Bolch