HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Orlando Magic is down a big man right now with Dwight Howard rehabbing his sore back. But there are reports coming out of Orlando now that suggest the herniated disc in Howard’s lower back could cost him not only the remainder of the regular season but also whatever postseason run the Magic have in them.
The initial report comes from the same place that gave us the Howard-Stan Van Gundy controversy a few weeks ago, Orlando’s WKMG Channel 6 sports director David Pingalore.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has a different take and reports that a final determination on Howard’s playoff availability has not been made:
Howard received an epidural last Friday after he sought a second opinion from Robert Watkins, a spine surgeon based in Marina del Rey, Calif. The injection was intended to help Howard manage the pain and begin rehabbing.
Howard’s camp is adamant that the All-NBA center wants to return for the postseason.
He will be re-evaluated on or around the end of the regular season. Depending how he responds to treatment, he could play in the playoffs.
Conflicting reports surrounding Howard are not uncommon in the Magic kingdom this season. In fact, they’ve become the norm. But there’s no question that the Magic sans Howard in the playoffs looks like a much more vulnerable team for someone to take on in the first round.
Again, there has been no official confirmation of Howard’s status for the postseason. So anyone assuming anything right now might want to take a step back and wait for something concrete from the Magic … or we can just wait for Van Gundy to confirm it at the Magic’s next shootaround.