"There is no timetable for his return. It will be based on how he responds to treatment," the AP reports.
The Magic are already without veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a facial fracture suffered in a game against the New York Knicks earlier this season.
Howard missed the team's Friday night home game to visit a back specialist in Los Angeles and was diagnosed as having a herniated disk. Additionally, Howard has been advised to cease all basketball-related activities for the next 10 to 15 days to avoid further damage.
The Orlando Magic currently hold the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. They have seven games remaining this season, including games against playoff-bound teams such as the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz.
The timing of the injury is awful, as the Magic especially need Howard’s production to keep them from losing their grip on a playoff berth.
The Magic are 1-4 in games without Howard this season, with their lone victory coming against the Detroit Pistons.
Now, more than ever, the Magic need timely contributions from every player on their roster in order to secure a playoff spot.
It appears at this time that the Magic hope that Howard will recover enough between now and the end of the regular season in order to be effective during the postseason.
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