Defoe has been sidelined for the Cherries since picking up an ankle problem during the festive period.
Howe has said that the 35-year-old has now been back in training "for around a week", and could be selected for the home game against Newcastle this weekend.
"It is a big lift for everyone to get Jermain back. He has trained for around about a week now - we have been pleased with what we have seen," Howe told reporters.
"He is a natural goalscorer. Anyone that has scored the goals he has in his career, naturally it is going to give the squad a lift to see him back with us. Looking forward to getting him back on the pitch. Will he be in the 18 against Newcastle? You'll find out tomorrow!"
Defoe has scored three Premier League goals in 15 appearances for Bournemouth this season.