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Howard says he's ready for first U.S. basketball practice

Updated: July 16, 2008, 3:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ORLANDO -- Dwight Howard says he's been cleared to practice with Team USA when it meets July 21 to begin preparations for the Beijing Olympics.

Howard, who suffered a fractured sternum in the playoffs against Detroit, missed the team's first minicamp due to the injury.

He says he's ready now.

"I've been cleared to play," Howard said after a workout at the Orlando Magic practice facility. "It bothered me a lot. I tried to play as much as I could through the pain ...

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