(NEW YORK) — The roller-coaster season for center Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic is finally coming to an end — at least for Howard.
Howard will undergo back surgery today to repair a herniated disk. As a result he will miss the rest of the regular season, as well as the playoffs. The injury will also force Howard to miss the upcoming Olympics in London.
Howard had been complaining about his back since early March, but he decided to play through the pain. He wound up doing more damage than good by playing through the injury, which now requires surgical repair. He originally was going to sit out for the rest of th regular season but the surgery just couldn’t wait any longer.
“It hurts [emotionally],” Howard told ESPN’s Chris Broussard. “That’s the first thing — it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I’m quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse.”
Howard is a three-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year award-winner. This season he averaged 20.6 points and an NBA-leading 14.5 rebounds per game.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire