Dwight Howard is considered a game time decision in tonight's game against the Boston Celtics, in Boston mind you. The Lakers are just over the half-way point of their seven game road trip, and with news coming that Pau Gasol is going to miss an extended period of time with a torn plantar fascia, they could certainly use their franchise center going forward.
Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard have all taken to speaking on the injury in one form or another, beginning with Kobe Bryant speaking to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan where he expressed the need for urgency, and for Dwight Howard to play despite the shoulder not being healed now that Gasol will be out.
"We don't have time for [Howard's shoulder] to heal," Kobe said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. "We need some urgency. - Jackie MacMullan, ESPN
However, not to be misconstrued, Kobe also elaborated later and said the urgency is important, but not at the cost of Dwight making his shoulder worse.
Kobe Bryant said he's not pressuring Howard to return."There's an urgency to be out there but not at the cost of making his shoulder worse."— Mark Medina (@MedinaLakersNBA) February 7, 2013
Dwight Howard has already responded to this, where he dismisses Kobe's call for Dwight to play without allowing the shoulder to heal.
"That's his opinion, that's it," Howard said. "He's not a doctor, I'm not a doctor. That's his opinion." - Dave McMenamin, ESPN
Howard also reverted back to claiming that his first and foremost concern is his long-term health.
So, if people are pissed off that I don't play or if I do play, whatever it may be, so what? This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody's life is going to go on. I don't want to have another summer where I'm rehabbing and trying to get healthy again. - Dave MvMenamin, ESPN
Meanwhile, Steve Nash echoed similar sentiments to Kobe as he also referred to playing through pain.
Steve Nash on Dwight: "I think everyone has got to play through some pain in this league"— Mark Medina (@MedinaLakersNBA) February 7, 2013
We'll have updates on Dwight Howard's status for the game.