Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard could miss a significant portion of the current season following an operation on his lower spine on Friday.
The player had been suffering from buttock soreness for some time and, upon a recommendation, he underwent an L4-L5 lumbar microdiscectomy in an attempt to relieve his severe nerve aggravation and pain in his gluteal region.
The injury is said to have impinged the center's movement during the nine games he played for Washington this term. But he will hope to be ready to return to the court in two to three months' time, when he's due for an evaluation.
The Wizards have announced that Howard underwent a successful procedure without any complications, with Dr. Robert Watkins overseeing the affair in Marina Del Rey, California.
"Wizards center Dwight Howard underwent an L4-L5 lumbar microdiscectomy earlier today. The procedure went as planned with no complications.
"The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins in Marina Del Rey, CA, and was recommended after consultation with Dr. Watkins and Wizards Director of Medical Services and Orthopedist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih determined that the disc herniation was causing severe nerve irritation and gluteal pain.
"Howard’s progress will be re-evaluated in approximately two to three months."
Howard averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, playing 25.6 minutes per contest for the Wizards before his surgery.
What This Means
By the time Howard has his first available assessment - on January 30 - the Wizards will have played 51 of their 82 regular season games.
The side needs all the help they could get this term and, with Howard out for some time, they will need everyone else to step up and produce.