Dwight Howard injury: Lakers star set to return vs. Celtics

USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will play against the Boston Celtics after missing three games with shoulder pain.

Dwight Howard intends to return to action for the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday against the Boston Celtics after sitting out three games with a sore shoulder, according to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski.

Howard had aggravated a previously torn labrum injury on Jan. 30 against the Phoenix Suns, and since has been at the center of mild criticism from teammate Kobe Bryant. The Lakers' guard said on Wednesday that Howard needed "urgency" in dealing with his shoulder problem.

The Lakers center came back on Thursday, seemingly putting off Bryant's remark by saying that he has to worry about his future. Bryant later said he was not trying to push Howard back into action too soon.

Turns out, Howard will give it a go against the Celtics.

Without the center, the Lakers won all three games as Pau Gasol took Howard's place in the starting lineup. But the need for Howard escalated greatly when Gasol injured his plantar fascia in a win against Brooklyn on Tuesday. He will miss the next four weeks, at least, and should Howard not be able to go, it's down to Earl Clark starting at center, head coach Mike D'Antoni said.

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