Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard is slated to undergo surgery after consulting with specialists in the L.A. area, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Howard is hopeful to return within eight weeks from the time of the procedure, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Howard has missed the team's last five games after he exited a Nov. 18 game against the Portland Trail Blazers seven minutes into his outing and been on the shelf ever since.

The 6-foot-11 big man has been dealing with the injury since the start of the season, missing all of training camp nursing the injury and playing in only nine games after missing all of October.

During his absence, the Wizards have made use of young Thomas Bryant, who has provided the shot-blocking and defensive presence the team was hoping to get with Howard in the lineup.

The longtime double-double machine fit the mold of the athletic big man franchise star John Wall was hoping to play next to, but the injury bug has come biting early this season, an unforeseen presence, given Howard's strong track record during the past three seasons.

Howard has played in 71, 74, and 81 games in the past three seasons, respectively — showing a decent bill of health, making this injury a surprising and untimely surprise, as the Wizards hope to climb out of a disappointing 8-13 start to the season.