Dwight Howard Injury: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios for the Los Angeles Lakers

Dwight Howard tried to play through a torn labrum—and it backfired. 

It was always a long shot, but it took only a handful of games before precisely the type of situation that Howard had to avoid occurred. Reaching up for a rebound, Howard's arm was forcefully pulled away from his body, putting more pressure on his torn cartilage and making him double over in pain.

The latest out of Los Angeles is that Howard is seeing a sports medicine specialist for a non-surgical procedure. His status remains day-to-day while the Lakers medical staff tries to determine the next step.

What are the best- and worst-case scenarios?


Best-Case Scenario

If Howard does try to play through it, he'll be subject to re-injury once more. The best-case scenario is that the Lakers limit his play and he somehow avoids further harm.

The big man will not be able to outmuscle his counterparts like he is accustomed to, and may be more timid on both ends of the floor. That said, he could still provide a boost in the middle, where Los Angeles is already thin after losing backup big man Jordan Hill. 

The Lakers will likely have to play him with certain restrictions. Their schedule and his comfort level will decide what exactly those limitations entail. 

If they're smart, they will rest their superstar center until after the All-Star break. At that point, Howard would test the arm out again, hoping that it's ready for in-game action. 


Worst-Case Scenario

The worst case is that Dwight Howard will need immediate surgery to repair the labrum, effectively ending his season.

There's no question that Howard is going to need surgery at some point, but he and the medical staff will have to determine whether he can wait to have it after the season is over, or if he needs to have it immedia...

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