The injury was not enough to force Howard from the game, but he did miss practice on Saturday, saying he was unable to lift his shoulder. He had reported shoulder soreness after the game, and apparently sleeping on it failed to solve the issue. Head coach Mike D'Antoni reportedly was more confident that Howard would be able to play.
Given the history, playing might not be the best option. It's only the latest injury for Howard, who has been less than 100 percent all season. His back isn't enough of an issue to keep him from playing, but it's clear to fans that he's playing under his potential. Howard is averaging 17.4 points per night, below his career average and well below the 20.6 and 22.9 he averaged in the previous two seasons.