Dwight Howard is game-time decision against Celtics

USA TODAY Sports

With their season on the line, the Lakers may bring their oft-injured center back on Thursday.

After sitting out the last three games with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Dwight Howard is a game-time decision for the Lakers' nationally televised showdown against the Celtics on Thursday. Howard participated in the team's shoot-around on Thursday morning, but no final report of his status has been given yet.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Howard's possible return would come a day after L.A. learned that Pau Gasol would miss at least six weeks with a tear in his right foot, an injury he suffered in the closing minutes of their victory over the Nets on Tuesday.

Silver Screen And Roll, SB Nation's Lakers blog, has an in-depth look at how the team responded to Gasol's injury on Tuesday here.

Howard has already missed six games this season with the shoulder injury, on top of lingering concerns about his back, which is still recovering from off-season surgery. He's also complained of lingering damage to his nerves, revealing that he occasionally can't feel his legs while playing.

However, with the Lakers sitting in the No. 10 seed out West at 23-26, they need to start stringing together wins if they have any chance of reaching the playoffs. With Jordan Hill already out for the season, Gasol's injury leaves L.A. painfully thin upfront.

As a result, Howard may be pressed back into action on Thursday.

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