Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will be out for the rest of the season after the team announced on Thursday that he will ill undergo back surgery on Friday morning in Los Angeles. The surgery is necessary to repair a herniated disk and will end Howard’s season and his hopes of taking part in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.
Speaking to ESPN’s Chris Broussard the star center said:
“It hurts (emotionally). That’s the first thing — it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I’m quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse.”
Howard started complaining about back problems in early March but it wasn’t until he was looked over by a spine surgeon that the herniated disk was discovered in early March. Dwight Howard received an epidural at the time of the discovery and was expected to rest his back and rehabilitate for 10-14 days at which time he would receive further treatment if necessary.
The surgery is expected to be quick and relatively painless with the doctor making a one-inch incision. According to Howard:
“He said I can start rehab right away and be back to full contact in four months. So I’m not really concerned. If anything, I’ll come back stronger.”
Some people believed Dwight Howard was simply using the back problem as an excuse to sit out games, a belief that should finally be laid to rest.
Howard revealed that after the surgery he will only need to wait three to four months before he can begin full contact once again. Dwight Howard has missed eight games this season because of his back injury, that’s one more game than he missed during his first seven seasons combined.