Defoe has been struggling with a problem with his ankle, given his injury against Chelsea in December in the League Cup quarterfinals.
Now he is going to be a part of the club's training camp in Portugal, even if he is not back to fitness.
Howe told the club's Twitter account: "It will be good to have Jermain with us, we are looking forward to getting him back."
"There will be no rest, it will be a training camp," he added.
"Last year we went to Madrid and felt that was really beneficial to us staying in the Premier League. On the back of it we came back and got some really good wins, which we needed.
"It's nice that you change it up and change the feel for the group. But also the fact they get to be with each other 24/7 for three days is nice and can build team spirit.
"We are hoping the trip will galvanise the squad and get everybody together for the final push."