ORLANDO, Florida — Dwight Howard will undergo surgery for a bad back, ending his season with the Orlando Magic and likely eliminating him from playing for the USA at the London Olympics, according to the team.
Magic general manager Otis Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that the 26-year-old centre will have surgery to fix a herniated disk on Friday in Los Angeles.
The surgery also means Howard, of Atlanta, Georgia, will probably not be able to play for Team USA in the upcoming 2012 London Games.
“After consulting with the two doctors, it’s in his best interests to have surgery sooner rather than later,” Smith said. “Basically, the situation is not getting better. I’m not saying it got worse. It’s just not getting better.”
Howard has been struggling with back problems for the past month.
He received an epidural to lessen the pain in March. The National Basketball Association club said at the time he would miss about two weeks but then learned the injury was more serious than first thought.
Howard has missed the Magic’s last half dozen games and eight overall. Without him the team has struggled, winning just three games and losing five.
He is the reigning three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Magic’s leading scorer and rebounder.