Wow. When Dwight Howard told ESPN that his knee was "very sore" after Game 1 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals, he was not joking. Howard says he played through the entire series between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors with a torn MCL and meniscus in his right knee.
Dwight Howard just told us on Texans Radio that he played through a torn MCL and meniscus during the WCF vs the Warriors— Mike Meltser (@MikeMeltser) October 8, 2015
That's pretty incredible, considering D12 averaged 35 MPG in that series while snagging 14.4 rebounds a game and putting up the same in points.
It definitely makes you wonder "what could have been" with those first two games against Golden State coming down to the final seconds of play. A healthy Dwight Howard might have been enough to really give the Warriors a run for their money.
Lamentations of the WCF aside, these injuries bear watching as we creep into the 2015-16 season and as Howard starts creeping into his 30s. From Pro Basketball Talk's Sean Highkin:
It's a little alarming that we didn't hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he'll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn't a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an also-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.
Source: Dwight Howard's knee issues, torn MCL and meniscus during WCF weren't severe enough where offseason surgery was needed.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) October 9, 2015
That's a relief. Minor tears take weeks, not months, to heal. Hopefully he didn't exert himself too much chasing his snakes around the house.