Washington Wizard center Dwight Howard suffered a minor setback while rehabbing from gluteal surgery, head coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday.
Howard tweaked his hamstring a few days ago while working out, Brooks said.
When asked after practice if it’s worth Howard returning with fewer than 20 games left in the regular season, Brooks said, “We’ll get to that when we get to that. Right now, it’s just focusing on him getting game-ready. We’ll see.”
The Wizards currently sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat for the conference’s final playoff slot.
Washington has defeated Orlando two out of three games and would own the tiebreaker if they win again March 13 in the District.
Miami and Washington are tied 2-2 and meet March 23 in D.C. for the regular-season series finale.
The Hornets and Wizards split both their contests, but face each other two more times, Friday in Charlotte and March 15 in D.C.
As it stands, the Wizards face missing the postseason for just the second time in the past six seasons.
Meanwhile, Washington had one of its best offensive outputs of the season Sunday in a 135-121 home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Three Wizards scored at least 22 points, led by forward Bobby Portis with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Although Portis’s scoring hasn’t flourished since coming to D.C. last month via trade from the Chicago Bulls, he’s averaged nearly nine rebounds in his first nine games in Washington. Another former Bull, Jabari Parker, scored 22 points Sunday as he and Portis attempt to fill the void of Otto Porter Jr., who was dealt to Chicago.
That meant less playing time for forward Sam Dekker, who nevertheless scored 11 points in 14 minutes of action Sunday.
Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky went through similar phases as he played backup to All-Star John Wall, who’s expected to be out at least 10 months after surgery on his left Achilles tendon.
“He’s just working on his game on off days [and] being focused and being ready whenever his name is called,” Satoransky said of Dekker. “I think it’s not new for him. He’s been in the league for a while. That situation can happen. He’s being professional about it.”