Apr 14, 2012, 4:24 PM EDT
It doesn’t look promising, but Dwight Howard is going to sit out the next couple of weeks and try to rest and rehab the herniated disc in his back, then be re-evaluated right before the playoffs start, according to a report from ESPN.
Without Howard the Magic will still make the playoffs — the nine-seed Bucks are five games back with seven games left to play — but they will be considered the easiest first round matchup.
Which is why the Magic are hoping that two weeks of rest and rehab will be enough to heal the partially herniated disc. However, there is no timetable for his return and no treatments — including surgery — are off the table.
Surgery likely would impact Howard’s ability to play for Team USA in the London Olympics.
The Magic have more immediate concerns. The playoffs open April 28 and the Magic are currently the six seed in the East. With Orlando 1-4 this season without Howard the Knicks and 76ers — both three games back of the Magic — can hold out hope of catching them and getting the six seed. Which is huge. Nobody wants to play Miami or Chicago in the first round, and while the six seed likely faces a Pacers team that has been plying well of late that is far less intimidating a foe than the Heat or Bulls.