After missing the last eight games, Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverly will be in the Rockets lineup on Saturday when they host the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center.


Howard has missed 11 of the last 13 games with a left ankle strain. He also had a cyst on his ankle drained. He last played on March 27 in the Rockets win over Philadelphia.


Beverly also last played on March 27. He left that game in the first half with what turned out to be a torn meniscus. It was feared he would need surgery and be lost for the season, but a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews alleviated those fears.


With just three games left in the regular season, both players won’t have a lot of time to get back into playing shape before the start of the playoffs next week, but their return to the lineup is a welcome development for a team that has lost five of eight games and still has work to do in order to clinch homecourt in the first round of the playoffs. They hold a half game lead over Portland and will need to win two of three to close the season if the Blazers win both of their remaining games.


Even with the returns of Beverly and Howard, the Rockets won’t have everyone available against New Orleans Saturday night. Chandler Parsons (wrist and hip) and Francisco Garcia (back) will not play, but both players expect to play Monday when the Rockets host San Antionio.






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