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Dwight Howard out for Magic Monday, maybe Tuesday

Apr 9, 2012, 12:23 PM EST

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Getty Images

This has nothing to do with his ongoing issues with coach Stan Van Gundy and everything to do with his ongoing problem with back spasms.

Dwight Howard will not play for the Magic Monday night when they take on the Pistons (and a quality young center in Greg Monroe), the team announced. Howard is questionable for Tuesday when Orlando faces Washington. Both of these are games the Magic could win without Howard. Could.

Howard’s back issues are muscular not structural, but his back needs rest.

It would take an epic collapse for the Magic to miss the playoffs — they are five games up on the nine seed with 10 to play — but they are not a team picking up momentum as the playoffs loom, either. Still, in the end what matters more than momentum is having Howard at all and they need to get his back right in the next couple weeks.

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