Dwight Howard injury: Lakers center may not play Tuesday at Nets

USA TODAY Sports

Lakers center Dwight Howard is still nursing a shoulder injury and is not sure of when he will return to the lineup.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is still unsure of when he will return to the court and he may miss Tuesday's game against Brook Lopez and the Brooklyn Nets with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Howard sat out Sunday's win over the Detroit Pistons and has not played since aggravating the shoulder injury in a loss to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday. The center had a platelet-rich plasma injection into his shoulder Saturday and is feeling better, but he told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register that he's still a little sore and does not want to rush back:

"It feels a little bit better, but still sore," Howard said Sunday. "Certain movements hurt, and I don't want to go there in any pain or go out there thinking about it too much."

"It’s still not there yet," he said. "I’m not going to try to rush myself back and have the possibility of hurting it again. There’s no need for that."

Howard admitted it's pretty painful for him to make certain movements and that the injury will likely stick with him the rest of the season. He can try to strengthen muscles in the shoulder to attempt to decrease the chance of another aggravation, but there will still likely be pain at times no matter what. The only way to truly fix the injury is surgery, but Howard has already said on multiple occasions that he wants no part of that after going under the knife last offseason for his back issue.

The Lakers could certainly use Howard back as soon as possible. Along with the Nets, they will also play the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat on their seven-game road trip. Los Angeles is currently 22-26 and 3 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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