Dwight Howard’s Back Injury Made Him Imagine Retiring

Watching Dwight Howard play these days, post back surgery, it’s clear that he’s nowhere near fully healthy. He has admitted as much on multiple occasions since the season began, and this weekend, Howard mentioned that retirement briefly crossed his mind when he got hurt last season as a member of the Orlando Magic. Per NBA.com: “I did for a couple days,’ Howard said. […] ‘When I got hurt, I lost my whole left leg, basically, from my nerves,’ he said. ‘That takes at least nine months to get that strength back. I was able to get some of it back in a couple of months. But it’s always a process. I wish that it would all come back right away, but this is a great time for me to work on other parts of my game that’ll make myself better and also make the team better. It’s really, at this point, not even my back. The injury I had caused my whole left leg to just lose all strength. My nerves were severely damaged. It takes a while for those nerves to grow back and for you to have enough strength to play. All that stuff is coming back slowly. There’s still days, like I said, where I feel really good, and there’s day when I’m not so good. But it’s all a process. I’m pretty sure at the end of the year I’ll feel a lot better than I do now. If I would have waited until after the season (to have the operation), if I would have tried to continue to play, then I probably wouldn’t be able to play anymore. I had to do it right away. I didn’t want to risk my career for some playoff games. They were important for me, but my health is important.'”