By: Alex Del Barrio. Sportsradio 610By Alex Del Barrio

NEW ORLEANS (CBS HOUSTON) – Rockets Head Coach Kevin McHale confirmed after shootaround on Wednesday that center Dwight Howard would make his return to the Houston starting line-up against the New Orleans Pelicans.

McHale also announced that Jason Terry will start in the place of Patrick Beverley who is in Houston being evaluated on his injured wrist which could end his season according to multiple media reports.

Howard will be on a minutes restriction and will play roughly 16 minutes, according to McHale. Howard spoke to the media in Houston last week and stated that he would play between 20 and 25 minutes upon his return to the line-up

Howard has missed the last 26 games for the Rockets because of swelling in his injured right knee. Howard underwent a bone marrow aspirate injection in February which was to keep him out of the line-up for six to eight weeks. In Howard’s absence the Rockets are 17-9.

Getting Howard back into the line-up is a breath of fresh air for the Rockets who have been saddled with injuries lately. Forward Terrence Jones will miss his third straight game with a collapsed lung that he suffered against Denver. Forward Josh Smith is playing through a sprained ankle.

Houston currently sits third in the Western Conference standings with a 47-23 record and are 2.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 2nd seed. The Pelicans are also fighting for a playoff spot but have lost three straight and are now 3.5 games behind Oklahoma City for the 8th seed in the West.

Alex Del Barrio can be heard on Saturday afternoons on Sportsradio 610. Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @ADBSportsguy

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