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Dwight Howard will rehab from back surgery in Atlanta

Dwight Howard, Wizards

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard made his first public comments Tuesday since undergoing back surgery and the former All-NBA big man says he will stay in Atlanta to rehab his injury.

Howard is from Atlanta, so he will have family members with him as he embarks on this grueling rehab process. The Wizards are playing the Hawks on Tuesday and Howard joined the team on the bench.

After spending last season with the Charlotte Hornets, Howard signed a two-year deal with the Wizards in the offseason after the Hornets traded him to the Brooklyn Nets and then the Nets waived him. Before undergoing the surgery, Howard was averaging 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds for Washington in nine games and shooting 62.3 percent from the field and 60.4 percent from the free-throw line.

On November 30th, the Wizards said Howard will be re-evaluated in 2-3 months. This is the second back surgery the eight-time All-Star has had in his career.

Since requesting a trade from the Orlando Magic, Howard has seen his star status in the league dwindle year after year. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year has averaged a double-double every single season of his playing career.

Washington entered Tuesday with a record of 12-18, 11th place in the Eastern Conference.