Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dr. Watkins has Dwight's back


Now that the uproar has calmed and the Dwightmare has peacefully ended, the impatience of Howard's post-operative rehabilitation has become the newest Lakers headline, "Is Dwight Howard going to be ready for the season opener?"

Lets rewind a bit - Back in April Howard had an "uneventful" surgery to repair a herniated disc and remove some bone fragments. The surgery was performed by renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins Sr. at his Marina Spine Center practice located in Marina del Rey, California.

The Lakers center position has been a questionable one since the demise of the Kobe/Shaq era and its successor, injury prone Andrew Bynum. So acquiring Superman should certainly fill the void right?

Well not exactly. Time will have to tell. According to WebMD.com 96% of patients recover from herniated disc surgery within 6 months. It's fair to assume that if Dwight is among this percentile then he's due to return anytime before mid-October, just in time for the season opener on Oct. 30th.

Let's give Howard his due credit. He's been in phenomenal health throughout his entire NBA career. He had only missed 8 games in 7 seasons coming into last season where he ended up missing all but two games in April and the playoffs due to his herniated disc. Is it fair to deem Howard injury prone now?

No. The man is solid steel - hence the nickname - and will be 150% ready for the 2012-13 NBA season as indicated in this statement made to ESPN's Chris Broussard in April:

"The doctor [Dr. Watkins] said it's a one-inch incision," "He said I can start rehab right away and be back to full contact in four months. So I'm not really concerned. If anything, I'll come back stronger."

Stronger indeed. Howard is in great hands, if not the best. Dr. Robert Watkins Sr. is an expert in orthopaedic injuries to the back and neck and is a founding member of the North American Spine Society, the largest spine society in the United States.

Co-Written by: Loit Kaskla

Original photo credit: WatkinsSpine.com

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