Howard won't play in the Lakers' next preseason game Wednesday night against Portland in Ontario, Calif.
Howard took another step forward when he participated in full-court, full-contact 5-on-5 drills on Tuesday. He'd previously been doing 5-on-5-on-5 drills, which is basically the same thing, except they allow for more rest in between.
"The doctor told him his wasn't as bad as mine," Howard said, when asked to compare his injury to Jordan Hill, who also has a herniated disc in his back. "The biggest thing is not to rush anything and just take his time."
The six-time All-Star center had surgery on his back last spring.
Howard hasn't projected a date for his Lakers' debut, but is hopeful he can participate in a preseason game. After Wednesday's visit from the Trail Blazers, the Lakers will have six more exhibitions before their season opener Oct. 30 against Dallas.
Like Howard, Hill also won't play in the Lakers' exhibition game Wednesday night.
"We've got 20 guys in camp," Brown said. "We've got plenty of bodies tomorrow."
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne and The Associated Press was used in this report.