According to a report from Los Angeles Times beat writer Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will miss his third consecutive game due to his labrum injury:
It’s official. Dwight Howard says he’s out tonight vs. Brooklyn. #Lakers
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 5, 2013
Howard aggravated the injury Thursday January 30 against the Phoenix Suns when he was stripped by Shannon Brown while going up for a shot attempt. Howard initially torn the labrum against the Denver Nuggets and has missed parts of other games due to the injury. Pau Gasol will continue to start at center for the Lakers in Howard’s absence.
Howard received platelet-rich plasma treatments Friday to accelerate the healing process of the shoulder and is traveling with the team on their long annual Grammy Awards road trip, leaving him playing over the next few games as a possibility. The improving Lakers play the Boston Celtics in Boston Thursday before facing off with the Miami Heat in South Beach Sunday on national television.
Said Howard before the Lakers played the Detroit Pistons Sunday, “It’s extremely sore all over. [Saturday] after the procedure it was real stiff, but there’s nothing I can do about it right now.”
“As soon as the pain goes away he’ll play,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Hopefully that’s the next game, but there are no guarantees. It’s just day to day. They’ll check it every day and see when he can go.”
Howard has a bad habit of bringing the basketball down to his waist in the post, allowing defenders the opportunity to violently swipe at his arms and prevent him from finishing around the basketball. Teams don’t mind fouling Howard as the Lakers big man only shoots .496 from the free throw line.
The Lakers dim playoff hopes are riding of having Howard on the court, so Howard will need to adjust how he approaches the basket in the future to avoid damaging his shoulder any further.