May 1, 2013, 8:39 PM EDT
Howard was diagnosed with a torn labrum after originally suffering the injury on Jan. 4, and missed a total of six games (in two separate three-game stretches) because of it.
Despite returning earlier than expected from back surgery last summer, those were the only six games Howard missed all season. He was looking much more like his former Defensive Player of the Year self over the last couple of months of the season, and the pain he was dealing with in the shoulder seemed to taper off over time, or, at the very least, Howard showed no visible signs that it was an issue.
Howard averaged 17.1 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocked shots in 35.8 minutes per game this season. As you might have heard, he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, and has said more than once that he’ll take his time pursuing all of his options before deciding whether or not he wants to return to the Lakers.
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