UPDATE Feb. 3 11:30 a.m. ET: Howard is out for Sunday’s game against the Pistons, according to multiple reports. He still has pain in that right shoulder, and as we speculated yesterday, it makes more sense for him to get a couple of extra days of rest in advance of the game against the Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Dwight Howard’s latest re-aggravation of the torn labrum in his right shoulder came Wednesday night in a loss to the Suns, and it appeared to be pretty serious afterward. Howard said it was the most pain he’s felt since the original injury occurred, and he missed the Lakers win over the Timberwolves on Friday to get PRP treatment on the shoulder back in Los Angeles.
Feb 2: Howard must be feeling a little better, as he traveled on Saturday to rejoin the team in Detroit, and is listed as a game-time decision for the Lakers 1 p.m. ET contest against the Pistons on Sunday.
Despite the official designation, he’s expected to play, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Detroit has some quality big men in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, so L.A. could certainly use Howard if he’s ready. It wouldn’t hurt to rest him one more game, however, to ensure he’ll be ready for a bigger test against the Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday.
The Pistons are awaiting the debut of Jose Calderon, who they acquired as part of the trade that landed Rudy Gay in Toronto. Calderon was unable to make his debut on Friday due to visa issues, but Detroit had no trouble blowing out the Cavaliers at home nonetheless.
Pau Gasol started in place of Howard in Minnesota, and looked every bit the All-Star who was a part of two championship teams in Los Angeles. He’ll likely return to a reserve role when Howard returns, as Mike D’Antoni prefers to use Gasol at center while Howard is on the bench.
Howard is averaging 16.5 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.4 blocked shots in 34.7 minutes per game this season.