Even though he remains sidelined for at least another week because of an injured right shoulder, that’s not stopping Dwight Howard from staying away from the court.
Ever since an MRI confirmed a separated labrum from his right shoulder, Howard told this newspaper he’s participated in conditioning drills with strength & conditiioning coach Tim DiFrancesco. Howard, who said he will be reevaluated at an undetermined day next week, said none of the drills rest his shoulder.
“It’s just to keep my legs and everything moving,” Howard said. “I don’t have to use my arms.”
Howard has missed the past two games in the Lakers’ back-to-back road losses against Houston (Tuesday) and San Antonio (Wednesday). He will also sit out tonight in the Lakers’ next two home games tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Howard’s absence also coincided with injuries to Pau Gasol (concussion) and Jordan Hill (left hip).
At the latter portion of Friday’s morning shootaround, Howard performed various running drills with DiFrancesco. Some of those drills featured DiFrancesco using himself as a barrier, something Howard believes will improve his explosiveness. That’s an area he’s admittedly struggled with eight months after having back surgery.
“It was just applying pressure to make it harder,” said Howard, who’s averaged 17.3 points and 12.4 reboounds per game. ” Instead of using a parachute, that wouldn’t be good for my back. He stands in front of me and puts all of his weight on me when I run.”
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