ORLANDO, Fla., April 20 (UPI) -- Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will miss the rest of the season, including the playoffs, because of lower back surgery, the team said Friday.
Team officials and Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, said Howard, 26, will undergo surgery for a herniated disk Friday in Marina del Rey, Calif. Surgeon Robert Watkins and team orthopedist Craig Mintzer agreed the procedure was the best treatment for the player's condition, the Orlando Sentinel reported Friday.
"Dwight went in for an MRI Thursday morning," Fegan said. "When the results of that MRI came back, it appeared from that MRI that the problem had worsened, the tear. The doctors got on the phone. They consulted together and they both reached the same conclusion: that he was no longer a candidate for rehab, that surgery was required."
Fegan said Howard won't be able to play in any of the Magic's post-season games and it is "almost a certainty" that he won't be on the U.S. men's basketball team during the Summer Olympics in London.
Howard's injury has caused him to miss the Magic's last six games.