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The Houston Rockets are reportedly bracing themselves for the loss of center Dwight Howard for up to a month as he continues to struggle with a knee problem.
Sources have told ESPN that the Rockets fear that Howard will be lost for “weeks rather than days” but they remain confident that he will be able feature in a stretch of the regular season ahead of the playoffs.
Howard underwent an MRI scan earlier this week which revealed that he had fluid in his troublesome right knee, and he is expected to meet with various doctors to decide on which course of treatment will be best.
Nevertheless, the Rockets have already resigned themselves to losing their defensive anchor for a number of weeks and so it will put pressure on the rest of the roster to ensure that they maintain their current position in the Western Conference.
Houston ranked No.2 overall in the league in defensive efficiency ahead of their loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night, with Howard a key reason behind that due to his rim protection and rebounding.
However, in his absence they are undoubtedly weaker on both ends of the court and guard James Harden is put under increased pressure to put the team on his back and carry them forward.
Howard is averaging 16.3 points, 11 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game this season but the 29-year-old has already missed 11 games due to pain in the same knee that he is suffering with currently.