AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Dwight Howard made a quick trip to Los Angeles, hoping a procedure on his right shoulder will make him healthy enough to return to the court when the Lakers (21-26) play Sunday against the Detroit Pistons (18-29).
Howard missed the Lakers’ 111-100 victory Friday over the Minnesota Timberwolves so he could receive a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection on his right shoulder. The Lakers are eager to see whether that will accelerate the healing in Howard’s aggravated labrum in his right shoulder. Yet, Lakers backup guard Steve Blake said the injection did very little to him when he received two of them to treat a lower abdominal and groin injury.
“I don’t know if mine responded to it,” Blake said. “It’s not like a magical potion. The first time I had it done, I had surgery anyway. It didn’t heal the tear in my stomach. When I had it done again for my groin, I didn’t wait too long to see if it helped me or not. It may have helped if I waited. But I’m not sure.”
PRP injections involve drawing a small amount of blood from the infected area, spinning it in a centrifuge for about 20 minutes, isolating the concentrated platelets and injected it into the affected body part. Blake said doctors told him the effects, if any, happen in seven to 10 days, meaning Howard may have to wait a bit before feeling anything.
The Lakers would like to see the results immediately, for obvious reasons. They have gone 1-1 on their seven-game trip and are 6-16 in road games overall. They also trail the Houston Rockets (26-23) by four games for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Still, Blake argues it’s a no brainer for Howard to receive the injection.
“It doesn’t hurt you,” Blake said. “So it’s worth getting it done.”
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