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Wizards' Howard undergoes back surgery, to miss 8-12 weeks

Updated: 01-12-2018 03:22 IST

Dwight Howard underwent a lumbar microdiscectomy on Friday to alleviate a muscle injury near the buttocks, the Washington Wizards announced.

Howard likely will miss two to three months.

At the recommendation of a nerve specialist, Howard opted for surgery on the L4-L5 discs in his spine. According to The Athletic, he could resume physical activity in eight weeks, barring any setbacks.

The Wizards said there were no complications during the procedure, which was performed in Marina del Rey, Calif., near Los Angeles.

Washington acquired Howard in July after he and the Brooklyn Nets arranged a contract buyout, and in October, he was diagnosed with a strained piriformis muscle. That muscle is near the upper hip joint near the buttocks.

The first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Howard missed the first seven games this season with what the team called "gluteal soreness," though the ailment apparently is worse than the original diagnosis.

Howard, who turns 33 next month, saw his first action of the season Nov. 2 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, when he scored 20 points in a Washington loss. However, he left in the first quarter of the Wizards' Nov. 18 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, saying he was hurting so badly that he had difficulties doing such simple things as sitting down and putting on his socks.

In nine games with the Wizards, Howard has averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds, well below his career numbers of 17.4 and 12.6, respectively. He has played at least 30 minutes on only three occasions this season. Howard's career average is more than 34 minutes per game.

--Field Level Media

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)