PHOENIX — Dwight Howard re-aggravated the injury to his right shoulder in Phoenix on Wednesday night, and it didn’t look to be anything minor either on the court or in the locker room afterward. While there was no speculation by anyone that Howard would be forced to miss time, it was clear that he was in plenty of pain and that he’ll need to be reevaluated by the training staff before making that determination.
“It’s real sore,” Howard said. “Everything on this (right) side is hurting pretty bad right now.”
Howard was forced to leave the Lakers 92-86 loss to the Suns with 6:56 to play in the game, after being fouled on a shot attempt. The downward motion of the defender put pressure on the shoulder as Dwight went to raise his arm for the shot, and he sank to the floor after the contact as he tried to deal with the pain.
Howard said it’s the most pain he’s felt in the shoulder since the original injury back on Jan. 4.
“Numbness just went all down my arm and my neck,” he said. “It was pretty bad when it happened.”
Howard sat with ice wrapped around the shoulder at his locker for some time postgame, then went into the training room to get some black kinesiology tape placed around the shoulder before speaking with reporters. The normally jovial and playful big man was without a smile and seemed dejected and concerned when answering questions about the injury, and whether or not it would cause him to sit out an extended period of time to get it some rest.
“I don’t want to [sit out],” he said. “But we’ll see.”
The thinking was when the injury first occurred was that it would be something Dwight would simply be forced to play through all season.
“My understanding is it’s something that will hurt, go away, then he plays when it goes away,” Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said afterward.
“It is going to be an all-season thing, that’s how those types of injuries are,” said Kobe Bryant. “I’ve had ’em before, and when you get banged like that going up, you’re going to get that stinging sensation. That’s just how it’s going to be.”
Howard doesn’t know yet if he’ll play in the Lakers next game in Minnesota on Friday, as it will depend on how the injury reacts to rest and treatment over the next couple of days. He seemed willing to play through the pain to a certain extent, but was cautious when asked if this was something he’d have to deal with the rest of the season.
“I’m going to try as much as I can,” he said. “I don’t want to cause more damage to my shoulder.”