Dwight Howard won’t need off-season shoulder surgery

Dwight Howard won’t need off-season surgery on his shoulder.

Howard was examined on Wednesday by Dr. James Tibone of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Group, according to a Lakers news release. Tibone’s assessment was that “surgery is not necessary at this time.”

Howard tore the labrum in his right shoulder on Jan. 4 in a loss to the Clippers. During the season, the Lakers center sat out six games while dealing with soreness related to the tear.

In late January, Howard told The Times surgery would knock him out for a lengthy period.


“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.”

The regular season for Howard (and his shoulder) was about strength and pain management, which improved as the year progressed.

Howard acknowledged the injury doesn’t truly heal, but he can manage as other players have with a permanently torn labrum (including former Laker forward Lamar Odom) -- which is intact but pulled away from the bone.

Though his shoulder could be more prone to dislocation, Howard will include strength training to try to prevent any further maladies.

Howard officially becomes a free agent as of July 1. The team hopes to learn he intends to re-sign with the club well before the NBA draft in June.

It’s not clear whether Howard will be ready or willing to oblige on the team’s time line.


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