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Dwight Howard out Friday, maybe much longer

Apr 13, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Dwight Howard, Glen Davis AP

UPDATE 11:10 pm: Dwight Howard could be out longer than anyone thought — the specialist in Los Angeles diagnosed him with a herniated disc in his back.

UPDATE 2:30 pm: Dwight Howard has flown to Los Angeles where he will get a second opinion on his back problems, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

He has had a previous MRI and there had been no structural issues, it was just muscular, according to both Howard and the team. While the Magic could use him to return soon, what really matters is that he is back when the playoffs start in two weeks. Orlando isn’t going to win a postseason game without him.

12:54 pm: The Orlando Magic will be without Dwight Howard for their key matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and may well be without him for their next two games as well due to back spasms.

Missing Friday is not a shock — Howard said Thursday he wasn’t sure he would be able to go — but the extra days are a surprise and we find it out via a tweet from Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

#Magic C Dwight Howard out tonight against#Hawks & isn’t expected to play Sunday vs.#Cavaliers or Monday vs. #76ers.

Orlando has struggled at both ends of the floor without Howard, who has missed four of the team’s last six games since his back flared up. Yes, there is also plenty of Howard/Stan Van Gundy drama around the Magic, but Howard’s back issues are real.

The Magic are tied with the Hawks for the 5/6 seeds in the East, so Friday night is a crucial game. Although right now you may want to be the 6 seed and face Indiana in the first round and not the 5 seed that draws the red-hot Celtics. (Boston is two games back of Indiana and could catch them.)

What the Magic don’t want to do slide back three games and get caught by the 76ers — the Magic do not want to be the 7 seed and draw the Heat the first round.

  1. franchiseplaya - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but the timing of these “back spasms” sure seems suspicious. I’d like to think more of Howard than that this is his way of tanking on the team, without actually having to perform poorly on the floor thus reflecting badly on him, but his recent behaviour on other team matters almost leads me to believe otherwise.

    • cinnalocks - Apr 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      A herniated disc is not a back spasm. What are you talking about? A disc is a bone like body part in the spine, not a muscle. How dumb is that? Your brain function is suspicious.

  2. ezmagic - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Franchiseplaya..There’s no conspiracy, he really has a bad back. Played a few games ago, got another 20/20 game but re-aggravated it. He started having back issues after the Dallas game where Haywood kept hitting Dwight in the lower back whenever he had the chance.

  3. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Wow, nice glasses. He must be really smart.

  4. cinnalocks - Apr 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Well at least the Lakers can rest on not having traded the team for him. Thankful they did not get screwed twice this season.

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