During the Lakers loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night, Dwight Howard left the game with what appeared to be a re-aggravated shoulder injury. He did not return for the entirety of the second half. Yesterday afternoon, however, Howard met with a shoulder specialist who confirmed that no further damage had been done to his right shoulder and cleared him to play basketball. According to ESPN’s Beto Duran, Howard participated in a full shootaround this morning and will start tonight against the Utah Jazz.
Dwight Howard will start says D’Antoni
— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) January 25, 2013
Additionally, as reported by Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Howard admitted there will be times that he will not feel the strength in his shoulder; however, he will not have any limitations in tonight’s game.
Mike D’Antoni said there won’t be any limitations on Dwight’s shoulder
— Mark Medina (@MedinaLakersNBA) January 25, 2013
Interestingly, Mike D’Antoni also acknowledged to Lakers Reporter Mike Trudell that he is very aware that Dwight is getting one of the lowest post touches in the NBA. Though Trudell later clarified that D’Antoni wants Howard to increase his touches through “through screen/roll and post ups.”
D’Antoni knows Howard has gotten the second-most low post touches in the NBA after Utah’s Al Jefferson. Meaning it’s not about the system.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 25, 2013
Howard has been known to complain about his lack of touches in the post as of late (even going as far as carrying a stat sheet around in the locker room post-game). Before Wednesday night’s game Howard vowed to stop his immaturity and start dominating. However, before he exited the game, Howard went 0-4 and only had two rebounds. The Lakers are going to need a lot more from Howard tonight when they take on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center.
VIDEO: Dwight Howard Cleared to Play Basketball