Dwight Howard injury: Shoulder ailment to sideline Lakers' center vs. Minnesota

Harry How

The right shoulder injury forced him to miss three games earlier in the season.

When the Los Angeles Lakers play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, Dwight Howard will not be in the lineup. His right shoulder will prevent him from suiting up, according to Yahoo! Sports.

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Howard re-injured that shoulder on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns. He has been playing with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, but the pain will now keep him off the court.

Initially, the Lakers' medical staff said that their center was day-to-day. Los Angeles is in the middle of a seven-game road trip, so any time missed by Howard could be devastating. The Lakers already lost the first game of that trip and have a 20-26 record.

Howard first injured the shoulder in early January and missed three games before returning to the lineup. In 43 games for Los Angeles, Howard is averaging 16.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per game.

Pau Gasol is expected to start at center in his place.

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