Dwight Howard will miss the Lakers' Friday night game in Minnesota due to a sore shoulder, the team announced Friday morning.
Howard has a torn labrum, a right shoulder injury. In his absence, Pau Gasol will start at center, but the Lakers will sorely miss their big man against the Timberwolves.
Howard originally injured his shoulder against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 6, but he was able to fight through the pain and finish that game. However, Howard went on to miss the next three contests, and the Lakers lost all three games he sat.
Howard reinjured himself on Jan. 23 in Memphis, and he would leave the game in the second quarter. The Lakers also went on to lose that game.
His most recent re-aggravation occurred with about 7 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ loss in Phoenix. Howard was stripped as he attempted to go up for a shot, almost an instant replay of how he originally injured his shoulder.
The Lakers were up by five when Howard left the game against the Suns, but they went on to lose by six.
For those keeping count, the Lakers are 0-5 in partial or full games Howard has missed with this right shoulder injury.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are on a five-game losing streak, so the Lakers may well survive Friday’s contest even without their first-choice center. However, the Lakers have lost eight in a row on the road, and Howard’s status certainly does not help a struggling Lakers’ road team.
The Lakers are currently on the second game of a seven-game Grammys road trip. Howard will fly back to Los Angeles on Friday, undergo a PRP procedure on Saturday, and rejoin the team in Detroit with hopes to be available for Sunday’s game.