Dwight Howard still doesn’t know exactly when it happened or how he hurt his right knee. But he has stepped up the level of therapy by getting a “PRP treatment” in hope of getting back onto the court as soon as possible.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is the same procedure that Kobe Bryant had performed on his knee in 2013 and Howard turned to it after missing Wednesday’s 98-92 loss to Bryant and the Lakers.
The injury comes at a time when Howard’s Rockets have hit their first two-game losing streak of the season and have been in an offensive slump for two weeks. After scoring more than 100 points in five straight double-digit wins to open the season, the Rockets have cracked the century mark just once and are 3-3 since Nov. 8.
Now Houston faces a Saturday night visit from the NBA’s top offensive team, the Mavericks, without their All-Star stopper in the middle.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Howard is still holding out hope to get back onto the court right away, but Rockets coach Kevin McHale is thinking that Howard is “probably out:”
“It feels a lot better,” Howard said. “I had to get a shot in it to clear some of the stuff out it. I’m trying to do whatever I can to get back on the floor.”
In a platelet-rich plasma therapy a patient’s blood is placed in a centrifuge and spun to separate the platelet-rich plasma. The concentrated platelets are then injected back into the injured tissue. Rockets athletic trainer Keith Jones confirmed Howard underwent “platelet rich protein therapy,” another term for Howard’s PRP treatment.
PRP therapy is generally used as a long-term treatment, rather than to promote a quick recovery for a player seeking to return to the court, though Howard held out hope that he would not miss too much time.
“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow,” Howard said. “I was in a lot of pain after the Memphis game. I (said) it was just bumps and bruises. I thought it was just something I could sleep off. But when I got home and the next day, any movement I tried was causing a lot of pain.”
Howard said does not recall any incident during the Memphis game on Monday, but said that after the game that he “couldn’t really walk on it.
“Last game, I tried to do everything I can to play, did every drill, everything possible until the game started and there was nothing I could do,” Howard said. “Hopefully, it feels better tomorrow.
“I did everything to get myself ready to play. It just wasn’t happening. They wanted me to play in the post-season and later on in the season. I didn’t want to sit out. I was very upset about it.”
Asked if he is definitely out on Saturday, Howard said, “I have no idea.”