Dwight Howard Not Joining Magic in Playoffs, Rehabbing in California

by April 25, 2012

On the advice of his back surgeon, Dwight Howard will not be with his team during their Playoff run. He’ll be rehabbing in L.A. instead. Reports the Orlando Sentinel: “Dwight Howard will spend about the next three weeks in the Los Angeles area to rehabilitate his surgically repaired back and visit his surgeon for check-ups and will not attend Orlando Magic playoff games, both the team and Howard’s surgeon said Tuesday. ‘Originally, his plan was, because he wanted to be around, is to go back and forth, but those are long flights back and forth, not particularly good for your back to begin with,’ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. ‘Plus, [it’s] costing you a whole lot of time. You guys [in the media] know; you’ve done it. You’re basically wasting a day when you could be rehabbing. I think the agreement on all sides was that he’d be better off just staying out there and getting his rehab with the group that did his surgery and the whole thing.’ […] ‘I examined Dwight Howard on Saturday, April 21, 2012 and he showed significant improvement from his preoperative condition that necessitated mandatory spine surgery,’ Howard’s primary surgeon, Robert Watkins Sr. said in the statement. ‘He was discharged from Marina Del Rey Hospital on Saturday afternoon and will be reexamined this week. I have advised Dwight not to travel and to undergo rehabilitation treatment for the next three weeks in Los Angeles. He has agreed with my recommendation. While it is anticipated that Dwight will not be able to participate in the Olympics, I am very optimistic that he will be able to play next season.’ Still, Howard’s absence could fuel speculation that he is estranged from the franchise and would ask for a trade after the postseason is over. General Manager Otis Smith said Howard, who is under contract through next season, has not asked for a trade. Smith also said that team officials are fine with Howard rehabbing in Southern California.”