Media Day mini-roundup: Howard's back, Kobe's expectations high

There were no great revelations from Dwight Howard regarding his back Monday at Media Day, which basically means the news is good. He's not experienced any setbacks, and is on track to return fully healthy relatively soon, as ESPNLA's Dave McMenamin reports:

"I'm getting better every day," Howard said. "I'm getting stronger every day and I'm just looking forward to that day when I'm 100 percent. Until then, I'm going to keep training. I think from the last time you guys saw me to now, I think I look a lot different. I've been working extremely hard to get back on the court and I think we're going to have an awesome year." Howard has already been ruled out of the Lakers' preseason opener on Oct. 7, according to the team. But Yahoo! Sports reported Howard is hoping to play in the Lakers' regular season opener on Oct. 30 and that the center's back has regained "85 percent" of its strength. "I don't have a percentage meter for my back," Howard said. "They didn't make them yet. I think that's the new technology in the iPhone 6. ... We got to wait until that comes out."

Overall, though, signs are encouraging. Howard told reporters he's improved a great deal since his introductory press conference, and continues working out with assistant coaches Darvin Ham and Chuck Person.

In other injury news, Steve Blake said he's healing up after stepping on a spike strip in a Manhattan Beach parking lot, suffering a puncture wound to his left foot. He hopes to return to basketball activities next week, putting him slightly ahead of the original three week timetable the Lakers issued when the injury occurred.

If you were away from your radio, ESPNLA 710 sat down live in El Segundo with a host of Lakers standouts. Click below for the audio:

Kobe Bryant talked with former Laker Kurt Rambis, now an analyst with ESPN, about how the pieces ought to work offensively, and the time it'll take for the team to come together.