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Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 11:20 pm  |  33 responses

Dwight Howard to Undergo Season-Ending Back Surgery


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

What had been a growing fear, is now a painful reality for Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.

The big fella is done for the season, and not only will Howard not be taking part in Orlando’s Playoff run, but he will also be sitting out the Olympic Games this summer in London.

The Magic confirmed tonight that Dwight will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower back.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

“Dwight has been reevaluated and his condition has not improved,” team spokesman Joel Glass said. “In consultation between Dr. Robert Watkins and the Orlando Magic medical staff surgery has been deemed necessary. The recommendation has been agreed upon by all medical personnel involved in his care.”

Howard has missed the Magic’s last six games and eight overall this season. The Magic are 3-5 without Howard.

This concludes what was a strange, eventful, and ultimately disastrous season for Dwight Howard in Orlando, and a future that can only charitably be described as cloudy.

We’ll give Dwight — who made a point to vehemently deny media reports that he was refusing to play for his coach Stan Van Gundy — the last word on this unfortunate matter, via ESPN:

“It hurts (emotionally),” Howard said. “That’s the first thing — it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I’m quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse.” Howard has been complaining of back problems since early March, but it wasn’t until Los Angeles-based spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins examined him last week that the herniated disk was discovered. Howard received an epidural to alleviate the pain at that time, and the plan was that he’d rest and rehabilitate his back for 10-14 days before deciding if he could return to play or further treatment might be necessary. But his back has worsened and both Watkins and the Magic’s medical staff determined that surgery is necessary.

Howard said he is not worried about any long-term ramifications from the surgery. “The doctor said it’s a one-inch incision,” Howard said. “He said I can start rehab right away and be back to full contact in four months. So I’m not really concerned. If anything, I’ll come back stronger.”

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  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I want to see a video of the surgery. Just kidding!

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    anybody else find it ironic that the surgery will take place in LA?

  • Well DAMN

    No. There are good doctors out there.

  • B.C.

    Andrew Bynum needs to become a member of the US team and fill Howard’s role. Chandler and no other finalist can fill Howard’s role like Bynum can, Tyson Chandler surely cannot do it. Am I right it what?

  • B.C.

    Am I right or what?

  • http://slamonline.com J Du Bois

    WOW

  • LA Huey

    That sucks. As a results, Orlando v Indiana might be the least watchable series in the 1st round.

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com/ O

    WOW. I bet Orlando execs regret not trading him when they had the chance. Dwight ain’t staying in Orlando, b. Heads will roll…

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    I’m more concerned about the Olympics..:(

  • jose

    What an unfortunate way to end this madness for the season.

  • Danny_W_UK

    Co Sign LA Huey.

    Worth a mention that I too have a herniated disk, and have had for 6 months, my Doctors recommend Pilates, and other core exercises, and state under no circumstances should I consider surgery, as it’ll never be back to full strength again.

    Anyhow, Dwight seems like a good guy (albeit a little undecisive), and I hope he gets it all sorted.

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    i think you guys will be okay without howard in the olympics. Take chandler and bynum and you will be more then okay on defense and offense, Against the marc gasols of international play. Usa still got the most spoiled position in international basketball ur F selection could still have a chance on a gold medal.
    As for Howard i dont like the guy that much. But i wish him good luck.

  • DukeFromDeep

    Howard is overrated. there, I said it. Can we now move on. Give his Olympic spot to Bynum or D.Jordan, Duncan…. anybody, c’mon. We are maxed out at all other positions, so in the Olympics which is a jump shooters game all we need is someone to collect the boards, Chandler??

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rwDluFZQmtQ Max

    How is he overrated?

  • TR

    Way I heard it, he’s going to recieve a spine transplant.

  • FLIGHT 9

    Magic will win all the way!!!!

  • AQWORD

    ^^^ LOL ^^^

  • trey-ball

    IM HAPPY HE GOT HURT. lets see him recover from this and see what he can do. hes not very skilled at all and only gets by his athleticism. he wont be nothing special without his athletic ability. LOL what a diva!

  • abaci

    He should make another children’s album

  • MaxIsNative

    They will be removing a whole team from his back. Doctor’s say it will be kinda like the procedure they used to get a team off of Kobe’s knees.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Yepp, the Magic mos def should have just traded him away. You know he’s leaving, why drag it out for one more year? Redonc. And looks like whoever faces Orlando in the first round will get a free pass…

  • RIGGS

    lol @ TR

  • Fat Lever

    “The doctor said I need a back-iotomy!!”

  • robb

    Well, you didn’t want to play for SVG anymore right? WIsh granted!

  • Detroit Dave

    starts slow CLAP…

    hope he stay out tha headlines now

  • bull22

    wow what a dramatical and miserable ending for dwight… here are my tidbits for him for his nutcase drama.
    1. “i want to play for the nets,lakers,mavericks,celtics etc” and now he is going to play for nobody this year.
    2. he gets to join us and sit his behind down down on the couch like the rest of us do and watch the playoffs on TV. LOL.
    3. van gundy is smart, he is trying to get himself fired so he won’t have to
    coach dwight again who dont want him in orlando anyway. i think gundy is done
    with orlando.
    4. the poor magic,without dwight they won’t advance unless glen davis sheds
    25 pounds and turns into D123 and the magic guards shoot 60 percent plus from 3 point land the whole series.
    5. last but not least, glad this stupid soap opera is over and
    have a GREAT summer sitting your behind down on the COUCH DWIGHT… HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHA

  • Jerome

    @trey-ball: you are a bad person. I hope Dwight recovers and finds you to give his thanks.

  • What

    His legs are simply too small and he jumps so high that when he lands the weight of his huge arms and shoulders squashes his back kinda like if you dropped a brick on a burger. DAMN SHAME<–

  • What

    ^^^ if his legs were bigger he could land with more control and cushioning. duh right? 7fters all have a weakspot due to their unproportional build.

  • BRYANT BYNUM GASOL 24 17 16

    Trey ball you should go to hell with a comment like that

  • ClydeSays

    Hopefully the surgeon can insert a spine, because Dwight doesn’t have one now….

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    I really don’t like the fact that I just don’t give a fu*k what the guy does from here on In.

  • Kane

    rip to his career

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