NBA notebook: Wizards' Howard out 8-12 weeks following back surgery

NBA notebook: Wizards' Howard out 8-12 weeks following back surgery
By Reuters

01/12/2018 at 02:04Updated 01/12/2018 at 02:06

Dwight Howard underwent a lumbar microdiscectomy on Friday to alleviate a muscle injury near the buttocks and will likely miss two to three months, the Washington Wizards announced.

At the recommendation of a nerve specialist, Howard opted for surgery on the
L4-L5 discs in his spine. According to The Athletic, he could resume physical
activity in eight weeks, barring any setbacks.

The Wizards said there were no complications during the procedure, which was
performed in Marina del Rey, Calif., near Los Angeles.

Washington acquired Howard in July after he and the Brooklyn Nets arranged a
contract buyout, and in October, he was diagnosed with a strained piriformis
muscle. That muscle is near the upper hip joint near the buttocks. Howard
missed the first seven games this season with what the team called "gluteal
soreness," though the ailment apparently is worse than the original diagnosis.

--The Memphis Grizzlies and free agent center Joakim Noah are hashing out
terms on a one-year deal expected to be completed by early next week,
according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

A separate report from The Athletic's Shams Charania says the deal is already
complete and is for the veteran's minimum.

Noah, 33, was waived by the New York Knicks in October with two years and
$37.8 million remaining on his contract.

--Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz has upcoming appointments with
specialists to evaluate his injured right shoulder amid reports that teams
interested in trading for him believe his problems are in his head and not

ESPN reported that Fultz, who was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft in 2017, has
been making the rounds from doctor to doctor for examinations of his shoulder.
The Sixers are not expected to make a decision about his future with the team
until all medical appointments are done.

Fultz has not played since Nov. 19 and has missed four games. His agent told
the Sixers on Nov. 21 that Fultz wouldn't be returning to the team until his
shoulder issue was solved. He also reportedly has been rehabbing a right wrist

--Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is now out indefinitely as he continues
to be bothered by a right knee injury.

The All-Star has missed the team's past six games. He suffered the injury on
Nov. 17 against the Atlanta Hawks.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan indicated Thursday that he was hopeful Oladipo
would be able to participate in Friday's practice. However Oladipo didn't
sound close to a return when he met with reporters on Thursday.

--Thunder guard Andre Roberson suffered another setback while rehabbing his
surgically repaired left knee and will be re-evaluated in six weeks, the team

During a basketball workout Thursday, the 26-year-old felt discomfort upon
landing from a jump. An MRI revealed a small avulsion fracture in Roberson's
left knee, and he will be re-evaluated after the six weeks, the team said.

It's the second setback while rehabbing his knee, which Roberson initially
injured in January when he ruptured his patellar tendon and missed the second
half of last season. In October, he underwent a procedure to alleviate
irritation from a suture in the knee, and his possible return was on track for

--Suns forward T.J. Warren will sit Friday evening against the visiting
Orlando Magic due to right ankle soreness, the team announced.

Warren was listed as questionable with the injury ahead of Wednesday's game
against the Los Angeles Clippers, but he played 34 minutes in the 115-99 loss
and scored 15 points.

"It wasn't something that happened last game," head coach Igor Kokoskov said.
"It happened a few games ago. ... If he's dealing with significant pain, then
we decided that he shouldn't play tonight, and we'll go from there."

--Field Level Media