Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard is expected to have an MRI scan after he sustained a bruised knee in Tuesday’s Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
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Howard suffered the injury in the first quarter of Game 1 against the Warriors, and while he finished with seven points and 13 rebounds, he isn’t sure if he will be ready to play on Thursday night when the Rockets will look to tie up the series.
“It’s very painful,” Howard said after the Rockets’ 110-106 loss.
“I tried to play it off as much as possible, but I couldn’t give my teammates what I needed to give them.”
The towering center will undergo the MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage to his knee, with coach Kevin McHale facing a nervy wait on news to see if he will have his star man healthy.
It is was an unfortunate sequence of events that led to the injury with Howard’s own teammate, Josh Smith, crashing into his leg after a missed shot. The former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star stayed face down on the floor for a few seconds before getting up and receiving treatment.
Despite returning in the second half, Howard clearly wasn’t comfortable and with less than a minute gone in the fourth quarter, McHale opted to take him out and he didn’t return.
It is clear from the statistics how important Howard is to the Rockets, given that he is averaging 17.2 points and 13.8 rebounds per game in the playoffs.
However, this isn’t the first time that he has suffered with knee problems, as he missed 41 games in the regular season due to on-going right knee issues.