Howard has been sidelined since Jan. 30 with right-knee edema. The 29-year-old star underwent a bone marrow aspirate injection into the knee last month and was ruled out for six to eight weeks.
[daily_cut.nba]The Rockets said a MRI exam showed no signs of structural damage in the knee.
Last weekend, reports indicated Howard was making slow, but steady progress in his rehab. He had not yet participated in on-court drills.
Before the victory over the Nuggets on Saturday, McHale said Howard's progress was good, but that the team was still taking his rehab slowly and is unsure when exactly he will return.
"He's got to get on the floor and get some up-and-down on the floor," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "I'm not talking with the team; I'm just talking with himself. He just started doing a little of that. We have to see how his knee tolerates that. He ran on the treadmill (at full body weight) for a few days and that felt pretty good.
"He's starting to do a combination of treadmill/floor stuff, which is a good sign, but they're going slow. They want to make sure they have a handle on it. It's bothered him really all year."
In 32 games before the injury, Howard averaged 16.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 32.2 minutes.