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Dwight Howard could miss season-opener vs. Heat after suffering setback with back injury

Wizards, Dwight Howard

Washington Wizards newly-acquired center Dwight Howard could be in danger of missing the team’s season-opener against the Miami Heat after suffering a setback in his recovery from a lower-back injury. Howard recently returned to Washingotn D.C., leaving the team’s current preseason road trip to receive a pain-relief injection, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.

Head coach Scott Brooks expressed hope to get Dwight Howard back in training next week, but wouldn’t commit to a timeline for his return, as it depends on how sore he is while taking the practice court.

“He’s going to get a pain-relieving injection and hopefully early next week, he’ll be back on the court and be ready to play,” Brooks said. “I don’t know what that means for the first game, but we’re just gonna take it day by day.”

Howard has yet to get any meaningful action with the team in practice or preseason action, hurting himself even before the first day of training camp.

“The good part is, it happened now so we can try to be able to manage it and get him ready for the season,” Brooks said during Media Day. “But like I said, it’s nothing to be overly concerned. It’s just a little sore.”

Asked whether “it was safe to say” that if their big-man signing does not appear in one of the team’s five preseason games, he won’t play in the season opener against Miami.

“Yeah, that’s safe,” Brooks said

The Wizards have used a tandem of Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith at center during the first, giving them mixed, but solid results through three games thus far.