When the Wizards re-signed Josh Howard earlier this summer, they did so knowing they wouldn't get him for a full season. Howard tore his ACL in a game last February, and expecting him to be ready by the end of October is a bit much. Howard's agent has said otherwise, but he can't possibly expect Howard to be ready by then.
So when is Howard coming back. NBA.com's David Aldridge writes that he'll probably miss November, and might miss time in December too.
While Howard does not have any swelling in the knee and his strength is good, and he can walk on an anti-gravity treadmill, he still can't run or do any full-speed basketball drills, and certainly has not been cleared yet for contact or any basketball activities. Right now the Wizards are saying December looks possible, but a return from an ACL injury usually takes a year at least. Whenver Howard comes back, it's likely there will still be minutes available at small forward, where Al Thornton is Washington's only proven player entering camp..
This doesn't provide a clear answer, but does clear up the confusion from those who are believing that Howard will be back right away.