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No shoulder surgery for Dwight Howard, he will play through pain

Jan 29, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

Dwight Howard’s shoulder hurts.

You saw it against Memphis last week — Howard ran shoulder first into a Rudy Gay screen and had to leave the game. He missed three games earlier in the month with what is described as a torn labrum (the cartilage that cushions and allows a wide range of movement for the joint).

How do you fix that? Surgery is the primary option.

But not an option Howard is considering because of the recovery time, he told the Los Angeles Times.

“Six months,” Howard said. “I’d rather live with it than have six months out again. That’d be two summers in a row, so I don’t want that….

“Will it heal?” Howard said. “I hope so.”

It will not heal, the inflammation just can be controlled and the pain managed. You can play through it if you can handle some pain, although when aggravated it could be worse. The only long-term solution is surgery.

Last season Howard tried to play through his back pain and… Lakers fans don’t want to think about that.

But after everything he and the Lakers have gone through, he’s not coming off the court now.

  1. BigBeachBall - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    lakers only missed 2 playoffs since 1976…

    • loungefly74 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      great stat. a very telling stat.

  2. halohonk - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Trade him & try to get something for him. We dont want to resign him long term next year. Doesnt want to be here and his body is breakin down. Try to trade for a high draft pick. Time to start rebuilding and get younger. Shabazz! Got to figure a way to make that kid a Laker. Hes that good.

    • paleihe - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Why wouldn’t LA sign him for the long term? That’d be idiotic. Every team in the league will sign him to the max contract available under the CBA.

  3. edwardsro - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    I saw the game where this happened. They didn’t even call flagrant. The nba allows everyone to hammer dwight just because he is big. I would send the nba a bill for time and money. They need to stop this hack a dwight crap. May have destroyed his career

  4. slowclyde86 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    A will of iron, he has. Well, except for all the whining, complaining, back-stabbing and sulking. But otherwise, a will of iron!

    • cosanostra71 - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      You can question a lot of things about him, but I don’t think his ability to tolerate pain is one of them. He’s played through the pain this year at least.

  5. timb12 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Ah man. I wish I had an excuse now. If he plays well it’s going to be “despite shoulder pain! He’s a hero!” And if he doesn’t its going to be “well his shoulder was never right”

  6. ihavenonickname - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I don’t know who told Kurt that it won’t heal, but that’s BS. Labrums heal. Lets consult our friend Mayo:
    “Non-operative Conservative care to eliminate pain and restore motion is the first step in labral tear treatment. Strengthening the peri-scapular muscles as well as the rotator cuff muscles is then begun. Depending on the size and location of the tear this is often successful. Anti-inflammatories and relative rest are usually recommended in this type of treatment.”

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      A better way to phrase it is, “While it could heal without surgery if Dwight rehabbed his shoulder, it’s definitely not going to heal taking a pounding every other night playing NBA games.”

      In your blurb, the final line states the importance of *rest*, which Dwight won’t be getting since the Lakers have a lot of ground to make up to make the playoffs.

    • buttfumbles - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      I’ve had a torn labrum in my hip for over three years now. No they do not heal.

  7. abchome - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Just take the surgery after season ends in April. Will have six months for recovery before next season starts.

  8. fiyeaglesfiy - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    I think if Dwight Howard was leaning towards leaving in free agency, he would get the surgery, give up on this season where the Lakers are long-shots to win a championship, and not risk making it worse. This is a sign that Dwight wants to win now and build something with THIS laker team.

    On the other hand, there’s a lot of time between now and free agency and I’ve heard that Dwight changes his mind a lot.

  9. fearthehoody - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Phantom injuries need surgery???

  10. hoodheisman - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Surgery is the primary option??? From the same clown who keeps whining that Howard’s back is still hurting him because “he rushed back”. Shoulder surgery is the LAST OPTION you f’n moron. Btw nerve regeneration is typically aided by returning to physical activity. There was no medical reason for Howard not to start playing at the start of the season. So lose your lame “he rushed back” crap.

  11. jerdogthompson - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM


    You saw the game that injury happened? Hmmmm, me too. Which one was that?

    I will save you the trouble, it’s when the Clippers manhandled the Lakers. It was Caron Butler that hit the “BALL” when Howard had it in his hands and went for a put back. Plain and simple freak injury or perhaps Howard isn’t prepared for the mans game that is the NBA. Take your choice but to say he was hammered is patently false and quite frankly amusing. You need to tune in more to get an understanding of getting hammered.

  12. omniusprime - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Good to see Howard getting tough, playing through pain. Looks like Kobe’s been a good influence on Dwight. Howard just has to be careful about banging his shoulder and hopefully some other less invasive treatment can be found to alleviate the shoulder pain.

    Go Howard!!!

  13. freepretzels - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Good for him, to man up and play ball. Could have used a bit more of that in his career.

  14. mcsuave - Feb 3, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    of course no shoulder surgery. He wants that max contract. He will then become a comp. abuser.

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