Dwight Howard suffered a setback in his recovery from back soreness. Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks announced the news to reporters ahead of their preseason game against the New York Knicks. According to Brooks, Howard met with a specialist in New York after suffering the setback and will receive an injection to alleviate pain.
Scott Brooks says that Dwight Howard has returned to DC to receive a pain injection. He saw a specialist in NYC after experiencing a setback on Saturday
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) October 8, 2018
Howard has been sent back to Washington to receive the injection and enhance the rehab process. Brooks admitted that he was unsure of Howard’s availability for the start of the regular season which is set to start for the Wizards against the Miami Heat on Oct. 18.
Howard, 32, signed a two-year deal with the Wizards in the summer with the second year being a player option. He has yet to practice with his new team since the start of training camp while dealing with the back soreness. Howard attributed plane travel during a promotional tour in China for Peak for his latest back issues.
Back issues have haunted Howard in the past, but he did play at least 71 games in each of the last three seasons. Having 10 days before the season opener will leave small turnaround time to recover.
If Howard cannot get healed enough in time, Ian Mahinmi, who has filled in at starting center during the preseason, would be an option to start. With the team limited in big men, there is a good chance Brooks will lean to small lineups as well with Markieff Morris playing center.
The only hope now is that the time missed will be limited, very limited. His absence puts a damper on the anticipation of the upcoming season with Howard as part of the lineup.