USA TODAY Sports
Dwight Howard has been cleared to return to the Lakers' lineup after having his injured shoulder examined by team doctors.
Dwight Howard had his injured right shoulder examined on Thursday by team doctors and was cleared to return to the Lakers lineup on Friday. Howard left Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies after aggravating a shoulder injury while trying to battle through a screen.
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Howard left the game and did not return finishing with two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes. He suffered a torn labrum earlier this season and missed three games. He and the Lakers trainers elected to play it safe against the Grizzlies.
"It felt real bad," Howard said. "I didn't want to try to play through it because I didn't want to hurt it any worse, so (the Lakers' training staff) asked me not to play."
"I still feel it. It's still aggravated. It's something that I'm going to have to learn how to cope with. The biggest thing is just getting it stronger so it won't continue to bother me."
Howard has drawn criticism for the Lakers' disappointing start to the season. Most recently he expressed his frustration over a lack of post-up opportunities in Mike D'Antoni's offense. The Lakers have lost four straight and are in 12th place in the Western Conference.