WEDNESDAY, 9:24am: The team confirmed the timetable, announcing today that Howard will be re-evaluated in four weeks after receiving a bone marrow aspirate injection to his right knee (Twitter link).
SATURDAY, 11:03pm: Dwight Howard is expected to miss at least a month due to ongoing trouble with his right knee, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Sources tell Stein that the Rockets are confident that Howard will have enough time to recover and be ready for a late regular season stretch run as well as the playoffs. Another source told ESPN.com that a period of rest “likely measured in weeks” will be the minimum requirement before the center can return to the court.
Houston sits at 33-14 on the season, which is only eight games ahead of the Pelicans, who reside in ninth place in the conference. With the Western Conference being so competitive this year, teams that have even a short stretch of average games may find themselves drop significantly in the standings.
The Rockets have an emerging young talent in Donatas Motiejunas and the Rockets may elect to give the power forward extended minutes rather than bringing in outside help. Houston currently has a 15-man roster, which wouldn’t allow the team to bring on another player without making a corresponding move, if they choose to go that route. Rockets GM Daryl Morey has never failed to make a trade during the month in which the trade deadline has fallen since he took over the job before the 2007/08, so it’s reasonable to expect that he’ll try to swap for frontcourt help.