Wizards coach Scott Brooks said Monday at the team's media day that Howard's back is sore and his status is considered day-to-day.
Brooks said "we'll see how he feels" on Tuesday, the first day of camp.
The coach said that the Wizards are "not going to rush him."
While Howard's attempt at building on-court chemistry with Wizards point guard John Wall may be delayed, Wall's relationship with his old starting center is apparently repaired.
Gortat said someone had to take the blame for last season, when the Wizards finished 43-39 and lost to Toronto in the opening round of the playoffs. The 34-year-old Gortat said that because he was the oldest on the team he took responsibility.
He was traded to the Clippers during the offseason as part of a deal that netted Washington guard Austin Rivers.
Gortat and Wall had exchanged words over the point guard's seeming lack of defense that put the 6-foot-11 Gortat in the difficult position of guarding smaller, quicker players.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.