Dwight Howard Injury Update: Lakers Brass Wise To Exercise Precaution with Star

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers grimaces as he flexes his ailing shoulder in the game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on January 6, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  The Nuggets won 112-105.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers shut down Dwight Howard on Monday night due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and it was the right call—even if the superstar isn’t so banged up that he couldn’t play.

Howard initially hurt his shoulder on Friday, when the big man had his arms intertwined with those of Caron Butler of the Clippers, and then tried to play through the pain on Sunday in a loss to the Denver Nuggets.

While DH12 was able to grab 26 rebounds (a career high), he was apparently in extreme pain after the contest and the team brass made the wise decision to deactivate him for a short period.

With Howard on the sideline, he finally has some time to catch his breath, get his legs back under him and fully heal his shoulder—which allegedly isn’t hurt all that bad.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Two Lakers sources told ESPN on Monday that they are cautiously optimistic Howard's injury isn't that severe and will heal within a week or two. Holding him out in the short term is "more precautionary," one source said.

Even if Howard could technically play the entirety of Tuesday night’s matchup against the Houston Rockets, it’s the right decision to make sure he’s fully healthy and ready for an extended stretch upon his return.

The Lakers need consistency more than anything, so having an ineffective Howard bouncing in and out of the lineup is the last thing the franchise should be dealing with right now.

The decision-makers need to keep DH12 on the pine until his shoulder is fully repaired and it looks healthy enough to not give any more problems this season.

Whether that process takes two days, a week or a month, Los Angeles must continue exercising extreme precaution with Dwight Howard.

The future of the franchise is potentially at stake and it’s imperative that DH12 gets back to 100 percent.