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Dwight Howard to miss extended time with knee injury

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Howard will be out for a while with an edema in his right knee.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will be out "for a while" with an edema in his right knee, according to head coach Kevin McHale. An MRI revealed the injury and Howard is expected to miss at least a month, per Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Rockets announced Wednesday morning that Howard underwent a bone marrow aspirate injection in his right knee and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. That delays his potential return into March and could extend it even further.

This is Howard's second knee-related injury this season, after dealing with a strain to his right knee that forced him to miss 11 games in November and December. Whether the two injuries are related remains unclear but it sounds like the Rockets will take every precaution to prevent further problems. Howard is the centerpiece of Houston's defense and their second-leading scorer behind James Harden, so they will need him healthy for the playoffs. Joey Dorsey has been starting in his stead.

According to Stein, sources said the Rockets remain confident Howard will be healthy in time to return during the regular season and have time to gear up for the postseason. That doesn't mean Howard will be back quickly, though, with Stein reporting Howard's absence will be "likely measured in weeks" rather than days.

Howard is averaging 16.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 32.2 minutes this season. The Rockets are tied for the third-best record in the West at 33-15, so they are in a good position to wait for Howard to return without jeopardizing their playoff hopes.

This post has been updated with new information.