LOS ANGELES: Houston center Dwight Howard said he played with a torn knee ligament and meniscus in last season’s NBA playoffs, in which the Rockets fell in five games to Golden State in the Western Conference finals.
Howard, appearing Thursday night (Friday in Manila) on the Houston Texans’ NFL pre-game show on SportsRadio 610, said he played through the injuries sustained in the first quarter of the opening game of the series against the Warriors, who went on to win the NBA title.
In the second game of the series he played 40 minutes, finishing with 19 points and 17 rebounds. He played in the remaining three games of the conference finals, averaging 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds for the series.
Howard missed half of last season with various injuries, including a spell on the sidelines from January to March following knee surgery.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale said at the team’s pre-season media day last week that the team would keep a close eye on Howard with the aim of having him healthy late in the season.
“Managing his workload is something we really want to look at,” McHale said of the 29-year-old three-time Defensive Player of the Year. “Eventually it’s going to come down to how you feel, how you respond to back-to-backs and practices.
“We’d like to make sure he plays more games and is more healthy this year because he’s a huge part of what we’re doing.”