Wizards’ Howard out for at least 2 months after lower-back surgery

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard looks at the scoreboard during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Al Drago)

WASHINGTON — Wizards center Dwight Howard underwent lower-back surgery Friday, and will be out for two to three months.

The surgery was recommended after doctors concluded that “disc herniation was causing severe nerve irritation and gluteal pain,” according to a team statement.

The veteran big man — who was the Wizards’ big off-season acquisition — missed training camp and only played nine games this year due to persistent back issues. Of those games, the 32-year-old averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds. He was last on the court Nov. 18, when he only played 7 minutes against Portland.

The rehab means he’ll be out another 30–40 games, with a return likely not to happen until after the All-Star break.

As the eight-time All-Star rehabs, promising youngster Thomas Bryant will keep putting in minutes at center, along with Markieff Morris.

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