Lakers' Dwight Howard damaged leg nerves last season
In time, the leg injury got so bad that Dwight Howard couldn’t even lift his calf of the court. His left leg felt “dead.”
"What a lot of people don't know is, when I hurt my back, it affected my nerves to the point where my whole left leg went dead," Dwight Howard revealed on Thursday. “"Basically, I couldn't do a calf raise.”
"There was a practice where I couldn't even bend over,” continued Dwight Howard. “I just felt it all the way down my leg. That's when I knew something was wrong.”
And when the leg started looking real bad, Dwight Howard underwent surgery for a herniated disk in the back in April. Doctors suggested a five-month recovery period, but Dwight Howard started showing positive signs in August.
Dwight Howard claims he was “surprised” by the pace of his recovery. Even the doctors expressed that the projected schedule of full recovery for a person with his level of nerve injury to the leg takes over a year.
“But by the grace of God, my leg was able to come back as fast as it did,” stated Dwight Howard.
The 26-year-old Dwight Howard has been in great shape during training camp practices and he was recently given the green light for contact by the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Dwight Howard still hasn’t participated in five-on-five drills and is awaiting his Los Angeles Lakers debut.
The Los Angeles Lakers have laid particular emphasis on the conditioning drill since as Dwight Howard stated, “"once you're fatigued, that's when injuries start to come."
Such precautionary measures are a natural part of the rehabilitation process to avoid a relapse. After all, Dwight Howard claimed he only started getting strength back in the leg two months after the surgery.
"Then it was working on my core so I could move,” said Dwight Howard. “I didn't really start running until close to training camp.”
And while Dwight Howard will not play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ exhibition game against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, he still hopes to appear in a game before the 30th October regular-season opener.
Dwight Howard’s optimism and determination served him before to pull through last season despite everything else.
“I didn't want anybody thinking I was quitting on my team or thinking about doing that. But it just got worse,” stated Dwight Howard. “And instead of sitting out, I wanted to keep playing to show everybody I was still with the team."
And now Dwight Howard intends to carry on this season with the same philosophy.
"It was very tough to deal with, but I just felt like something big was about to happen," Dwight Howard Stated of his struggles last season. “I was trying to turn all the negative things that were going on into a positive. And the first big step in all this was getting traded to the Lakers."